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Friday, March 8, 2019

More on Robert DeProspero (including a link to my blog!): my favorite Secret Service agent of all time; a true legend

More on Robert DeProspero: my favorite Secret Service agent of all time; a true legend

This New York Times article has a link to my blog!

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/obituaries/robert-deprospero-dead.html


Some excerpts from the above article: 
In July 1981 Mr. DeProspero was put in charge of the presidential protective detail — Mr. Parr was promoted to assistant director of the Secret Service — and initiated new measures to improve security.
These included placing agents at hospital trauma centers closest to the locations of presidential visits, and using magnetometers to screen guests at presidential events away from the White House. He pressed for the installation of bulletproof glass on White House windows that did not already have them, and for the use of tents for presidents to walk through from their limousine to the entrance of a hotel or other building...

James A. Baker III, Mr. Reagan’s chief of staff during his first term, said Mr. DeProspero had also navigated the safety worries of the first lady, Nancy Reagan, as well as the concerns of White House staff members who did not want overzealous security to impede the president from interacting with voters, especially during his 1984 re-election campaign.

“To block off intersections for 30 or 40 minutes, you keep traffic waiting and lines stall — you lose votes!” Mr. Baker said in a telephone interview. “Bobby handled all that extraordinarily well.”

Mr. DeProspero started in 1965 as part of an influx of new agents hired to strengthen the agency after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.
Mr. DeProspero developed a reputation as a quiet, forceful and relentless leader during his two decades protecting Mr. Reagan, as well as Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter, and Vice Presidents Spiro T. Agnew, Nelson Rockefeller and Ford.
Mr. DeProspero was promoted to assistant director of training for the Secret Service in 1985 and retired the next year. For the next nine years he was the president of O’Gara Protective Services, a security firm. [clicking on the link "assistant director of training" will take you to my blog and this photo (click on image to enlarge):]


A documentary about his career, “The Man Behind the Suit,” was released in 2016 [I was Assistant Producer for this excellent documentary- my name appears twice at the end]

"Mr. DeProspero [left] was still a teacher when President Kennedy was killed. He recalled tearing up as he listened to news of the assassination on his car radio as he was driving home.
“I thought, ‘What is the guy doing who’s the head of the detail [Gerald Behn]?’ ” he recalled to The Associated Press. “He must be suffering as much as anyone else.”

------------------------
Bob was a true class act. I was touched when he wrote to me out of the blue in 2011 with positive comments about my work. We e-mailed and corresponded a number of times after that (he even sent me a Christmas card once). We also spoke on the phone a couple times, as he had graciously invited my wife and I down to his daughter Robin's home for Thanksgiving in 2016 (Joe Petro would also be there). Unfortunately, we could not make it, much to my regret, but that is another story. I cherish the times I spoke to and corresponded with Bob. As I mentioned before, I was somewhat embarrassed by my criticism of the Kennedy Detail agents (before Bob's time in the agency, mind you). I sent an autographed copy of my first book to Bob with a note stating that I believed President Kennedy would have lived if he was on the detail then.




Wednesday, March 6, 2019

ROBERT DEPROSPERO: THE BEST

"I am impressed with your research, accuracy, and willingness to 'tell it like it is'"- Secret Service Agent Robert DeProspero, former head of President Reagan's Detail, in a surprise e-mail to myself in 2011 (this blurb is proudly mentioned in all four of my books. I ended up corresponding and speaking to Mr. DeProspero several times since)
Robert DeProspero joined the Secret Service because of the JFK assassination- he told me it was definitely a catalyst. The Air Force veteran was on the White House Detail for LBJ, Carter and Reagan, rising to both head of the detail and, later, assistant to the Director. He was head of the VP Ford Detail during the later Nixon days. He also guarded former President Eisenhower, VP Agnew and VP Rockefeller. Bob is responsible for everyone going thru magnetometers (metal detectors) in order to get near the President, as well as stationing a hospital agent in case of trauma or an incident. He also was the instigator of bulletproof windows at the White House. Several of the men and women on his detail went on to become Assistant Directors or Directors. Bob has been called perhaps the greatest protection agent the Secret Service ever had. As one of the men who was in charge of the Presidential Protection Detail (PPD, formerly known as the White House Detail), he was part of a very elite corps:
1. Joseph E. Murphy (Teddy Roosevelt [1901]-Taft eras) 2. Dick Jervis (Wilson era) 3. Col. Edmund W. Starling (Wilson-FDR) 4. Michael F. Reilly (1943-1945) 5. George C. Drescher (SAIC 4/12/45-5/3/46; nephew Earl L. Drescher became the deputy chief of the Executive Protective Service in the late 1970’s) 6. James J. Rowley (1946-Sept. 1961) 7. Gerald A. Behn (Sept. 1961-Jan. 1965) 8. Rufus W. Youngblood (1965) 9. Thomas “Lem” Johns (Fall 1965) 10. Clinton J. Hill (Approx. 1966-1968) 11. Robert H. Taylor1 (LBJ & NIXON: 1968-Feb. 1973) 12. Richard E. Keiser (Feb. 1973-1978; Nixon, Ford, Carter) 13. John R. Simpson (Carter; 1978-1979) 14. Gerald S. Parr (Carter-Reagan; 1979-early 1982) 15. Robert DeProspero (Reagan, Jan. 1982-approx. April 1985) 16. Ray Shaddick (Reagan/ Bush; 1985-1989) 17. John W. Magaw (Bush; approximately 1989-1992) 18. Rich “Skip” Miller (Bush/ Clinton; approximately 1992-1993) 19. David Carpenter (Clinton; 1994-1995) 20. Don Flynn (Clinton) 21. Lewis C. Merletti (Clinton) 22. Brian L. Stafford (Clinton) 23. Larry Cockell (Clinton) 24.Carl Truscott (Bush) 25. Eddie Marinzel (Bush) 26. Nick Trotta (Bush) 27. Don White (Bush) 28. Joe Clancy (Obama; 2/1/09-6/30/11) 29. Vic Erevia (Obama; 2011-2013) 30. Robert Buster (Obama; 2013-2015; assistants: Thomas Rizza, Kimberly Tello) 31. Michael White (Obama/ Trump; 2015-2017) 32. Anthony Ornato (Trump)
PHOTO- 7/7/83: President Reagan meets with all the living Special Agent in Charges of the Secret Service White House Detail (WHD; later known as Presidential Protective Division or PPD). L-R: then-current SAIC Robert DeProspero [Reagan], Jerry Parr [Carter-Reagan], James Rowley [Truman-JFK], Jerry Behn [JFK-LBJ], Lem Johns [LBJ], Rufus Youngblood [LBJ], Clint Hill [LBJ], Richard Keiser [Nixon-Carter], President Reagan, and John Simpson [Carter]. Only Keiser and Hill are still living.



Mr. D, Robert DeProspero, has passed away. 12/31/1938-3/4/2019

Mr. D, Robert DeProspero, has passed away. 12/31/1938-3/4/2019

A Secret Service legend---and my favorite agent---has passed away. Robert DeProspero, who served from 1965-1986 and was head of President Reagans detail for several years...simply the best. Godspeed, Bobby.

I had the supreme pleasure of quite a pleasant surprise in 2011: Mr. DeProspero wrote to me out of the blue with a very nice and inspiring message of encouragement. I confess to being slightly embarrassed for being such a critic of the agency's performance on 11/22/63 (before his time, mind you), but he didn't seem to mind.

I had the honor of speaking to him a couple times in 2016 (he generously invited my wife and I to his house for Thanksgiving. To my supreme regret, we could not make it...I really regret not making it now). We also corresponded and I even had the pleasure of speaking to his daughter, also an esteemed member of the Secret Service.

I am very happy I was able to be an Associate Producer of the documentary about his life, THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT.




I am saddened by his passing but heartened by the example of the life he led. He truly left his mark on the world.

"In the months after the attack [3/30/81-Reagan assassination attempt], DeProspero took over Reagan's security detail. He imposed a raft of new security requirements, some of which remain standard Secret Service protocol.
He is credited with the agency's decision to begin using magnetometers to screen guests to all presidential visits away from White House. Presidential advisors had long resisted such electronic frisking, fearing it might alienate invited donors and constituents.
DeProspero also enacted the policy, still in force today, of stationing an agent at the closest trauma hospital whenever the president travels.
DeProspero also successfully pushed for the installation of bulletproof glass on many White House windows, over the objections of the mansion's historical preservationists.
Eight members of Mr. DeProspero’s detail became assistant or deputy directors of the Secret Service, and two, Lewis Merletti and Brian Stafford, rose to become director."





Sunday, March 3, 2019

SAM SULLIMAN R.I.P. 1930-2019


https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/timesherald/obituary.aspx?pid=191693904


Samuel Edward Sulliman age 88, passed away at his home in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania surrounded by his family and friends on February 26, 2019. The 6th child born in New Britain, Connecticut to Moses and Alma Sulliman on August 13, 1930. A proud first generation American, Sam was an Army veteran who served from 1948-1952, seeing active duty in the Korean War. He attended college at Bucknell, playing baseball and football, graduating in 1956 with a Bachelors degree in Political Science. Sam went to law school for 1 year at the University of Connecticut, before being recruited by the US Secret Service. Sam served in the US Secret Service, Presidential Protective Division for 20 years, among those to whom he was assigned were Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Ford, Carter as well as Vice Presidents Agnew and Rockefeller. Following retirement from the Secret Service, Sam worked for J. Robert Fluor as Head of Security for The Fluor Corporation in Southern California. From there Sam moved to Pennsylvania where he worked as Head of Security for US Healthcare/Aetna until retiring in the mid 90’s. Sam enjoyed his retired life and would spend his days watching he beloved Boston Red Sox and his Washington Redskins. He loved the outdoors enjoying any time he could be outside,mowing the lawn on his favorite tractor. He enjoyed listening to Frank Sinatra every morning while reading the newspaper. Sam loved to share stories of his time in the Secret Service and his Army life with his family and friends. He was an avid lover of dogs especially German Shepherds which he owned many throughout the years. He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years Lillian, and their 3 children David, Victoria and Elizabeth along with the family dog Koda. The family will hold a Celebration of Life Memorial later this Spring. If you would care to honor him with a donation in his name you may through the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org. God Bless America 

I spoke to Sam at length in 2004. He was one of the good guys. He was one of many agents that told me that JFK never ordered the agents off his limo (Sam himself rode on the rear of the limo in Ireland and Germany). Sam was stationed at the Trade Mart on 11/22/63.




Thursday, February 28, 2019

ROY KELLERMAN'S DAUGHTERS REVEALED!


HUGE thanks to Jessica Shores for finding these! CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

SAIC Anthony Ornato, head of Trump's Secret Service Detail



(arrow, right) SAIC Anthony Ornato, head of Trump's Secret Service Detail


1. Joseph E. Murphy (Teddy Roosevelt [1901]-Taft eras) 2. Dick Jervis (Wilson era) 3. Col. Edmund W. Starling (Wilson-FDR) 4. Michael F. Reilly (1943-1945) 5. George C. Drescher (SAIC 4/12/45-5/3/46; nephew Earl L. Drescher became the deputy chief of the Executive Protective Service in the late 1970’s) 6. James J. Rowley (1946-Sept. 1961) 7. Gerald A. Behn (Sept. 1961-Jan. 1965) 8. Rufus W. Youngblood (1965) 9. Thomas “Lem” Johns (Fall 1965) 10. Clinton J. Hill (Approx. 1966-1968) 11. Robert H. Taylor1 (LBJ & NIXON: 1968-Feb. 1973) 12. Richard E. Keiser (Feb. 1973-1978; Nixon, Ford, Carter) 13. John R. Simpson (Carter; 1978-1979) 14. Gerald S. Parr (Carter-Reagan; 1979-early 1982) 15. Robert DeProspero (Reagan, Jan. 1982-approx. April 1985) 16. Ray Shaddick (Reagan/ Bush; 1985-1989) 17. John W. Magaw (Bush; approximately 1989-1992) 18. Rich “Skip” Miller (Bush/ Clinton; approximately 1992-1993) 19. David Carpenter (Clinton; 1994-1995) 20. Don Flynn (Clinton) 21. Lewis C. Merletti (Clinton) 22. Brian L. Stafford (Clinton) 23. Larry Cockell (Clinton) 24.Carl Truscott (Bush) 25. Eddie Marinzel (Bush) 26. Nick Trotta (Bush) 27. Don White (Bush) 28. Joe Clancy (Obama; 2/1/09-6/30/11) 29. Vic Erevia (Obama; 2011-2013) 30. Robert Buster (Obama; 2013-2015; assistants: Thomas Rizza, Kimberly Tello) 31. Michael White (Obama/ Trump; 2015-2017) 32. Anthony Ornato (Trump)


SAIC Anthony Ornato, head of Trump's Secret Service Detail