A Presidential Election, The Mafia and Judith Campbell

On Saturday, January 2, 1960, at the Senate Caucus room in Washington, D.C., among a crowd of more than 300 friends, family, Senate colleagues, Democratic party officials and the national press, Kennedy makes clear his intention to run for and win both the Democratic Presidential Nomination and the fall’s national election. Kennedy already has been campaigning, of course, conferring with party officials and traveling the country from east to west and back again. It is a Saturday morning when JFK makes his announcement, assuring he will get good newspaper coverage in the Sunday papers.

1 Jan JFK announce Presidential race
JFK announces his run for the U. S. Presidency with emphasis on foreign relations.

Following JFK’s January 14 speech at the National Press Club in Washington D.C, Kennedy’s campaign team begins to identify key states where he needs to improve his standing with the public.

Joseph Kennedy makes a total commitment to the campaign. He meets with various organized crime bosses at Felix Young’s restaurant in New York to ask for their support for his son’s presidency. Present are John Roselli from Chicago, Carlos Marcello from New Orleans, Joe Civello from Dallas, and the top men from Buffalo, California and Colorado.

Joseph P. Kennedy stays busy working behind the scenes to shore up Mob support for JFK. A deal is made which says that if Jack makes it, his administration will go easy on the Mob, especially its Las Vegas business. Joe Kennedy has a meeting with Teamster official Harold Gibbons, whom RFK says is “as ruthless as Hoffa.” Joe meets Gibbons at his Palm Beach residence. “Well, Mr. Gibbons,” Joe says, “I don’t think there’s much of a war going on between the Kennedys and Hoffa. I hardly hear the name Hoffa in our house anymore.” JFK then follows up with a call to Jimmy Hoffa personally, and asks for a donation. Hoffa basically tells Jack to go to hell. By then, Hoffa has committed the Teamster’s million-dollar promise to the Nixon campaign, with matching funds from Carlos Marcello and the New Jersey and Florida mobsters.

2 hoffa gibbons Kennedy
(L-R) Jimmy Hoffa and Joe Gibbons, heads of the Teamsters, and Joe Kennedy meet in Palm Beach to discuss support from the labor union.

Sam Giancana decides to back JFK and not Richard Nixon for a very personal reason. Giancana’s daughter, Antoinette, dated Charles Gregory “Bebe” Rebozo. As she tells it: “I met him in Ciro’s nightclub in Miami while he was having dinner with Nixon. I had two dates with him in 1957. Although I have not mentioned this before, he date-raped me in the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago. When I returned to my father’s house, he saw my condition, and I think he knew that Nixon’s best friend had done this to me. This is the main reason my father favored Kennedy over Nixon.”

3 Giacana and Rebozo
(L-R) Antoinette Giancana, daughter of Chicago Mobster Sam Giancana, claims she is date raped by Bebe Rebozo, a good friend of Richard Nixon. Giancana and the mob give their support to Kennedy.

In early 1960, one of Jack Kennedy’s campaign/recreation visits is to Nevada, where he hooks up with his friend, Frank Sinatra at the Cal Neva Lodge & Casino. Joe Kennedy uses the Cal Neva Lodge to play golf with Johnny Roselli, one of Sam Giancana’s associates.

Down the road in Las Vegas, there are a few private gatherings at the Sands Hotel between the Kennedy campaign group, Sinatra’s Rat Pack group, and various Sinatra friends during JFK’s February visit.

On the evening of February 7, 1960, they gather for dinner at Frank Sinatra’s table in the Garden Room. Dean Martin is on stage and cracks a joke about Frank Sinatra along with himself just buying the Cal Neva lodge. Dino jokes, “Frank got the Nevada side with the gambling and the booze. I got the California side. It’s got six pay toilets and a picture of Richard Nixon.”

4 Rat Pack Sands
The Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is the hangout for Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack during the 1960 Presidential season.

JFK Meets Judith Campbell.

Among Sinatra’s guests that evening is Judith Campbell, who is introduced to JFK and his entourage. Campbell is in her late 20’s, divorced from William Campbell, and for a while is dating Frank Sinatra. Campbell joins the group and sits next to Ted Kennedy. Jack Kennedy sits directly across from her. Campbell remembers Teddy as a rosy-cheeked young man, “who is very good looking and a great teaser, with eyes that never stopped flirting.” But Campbell is really smitten with the charm and “plain likability” of Jack Kennedy. She remembers that he pays attention only to her.

Campbell later says, “It was as if every nerve and muscle in his whole body was poised at attention. Jack Kennedy is here at the Sands to get laid, and he chooses me to make him happy.”

The following day, February 8, Jack Kennedy asks Campbell to lunch on the patio of Sinatra’s suite at the Sands. They talk about everything from family to Catholicism. (Judith is a Catholic.) In the course of their three-hour meal, Judith tells Kennedy about Ted’s advances the night before. Jack laughs as he says, “That little rascal…you’ll have to excuse his youthful exuberance.” Judith and Jack will have another sexual encounter the following month in New Hampshire on his next campaign stop.

5 judith campbell
Frank Sinatra introduces one of his girl friends, Judith Campbell, to JFK.

In addition to meeting Campbell, Kennedy leaves the Sands with “loads of cash.” JFK’s fundraising gains are made in part through Sinatra’s friends and associates, including the owners of the The Sands Hotel & Casino. Sammy Davis, Jr., recalls Peter Lawford pulling him aside and asking if he wants to see a million dollars in cash? He then says, “Go into the next room’s closet and look in the leather bag. It’s a gift from the hotel owners to Jack’s campaign….mainly Sinatra and Sam Giancana.”

JFK Has “High Hopes.”

Frank Sinatra by this time is fully committed to helping JFK win his party’s nomination and then the national election. He works hard for Kennedy throughout 1960. And while Hollywood and politics do mingle, this is something new between nationally popular entertainment stars and a rising politician. Sinatra pulls out all the stops for his new political friend, and besides any personal benefits he stands to gain from the connection, Sinatra believes Jack Kennedy will be good for the country. Among other things, Sinatra lends his voice in the Kennedy campaign. He allows the Kennedy campaign to use “High Hopes,” one of his earlier songs.

6 High Hopes
Frank Sinatra lends his musical talent to the Kennedy campaign with his song “High Hopes.”

Frank Sinatra does his share by being available to make personal appearances for JFK. Still, his part in the nationwide campaign is by way of this song. And sometimes, “High Hopes” receives a little bit of additional help from the Chicago Outfit.
In May, as the day of the West Virginia Democratic primary election arrives, juke boxes in that state, which are controlled by organized crime, are set up with copies of the “High Hopes” recording.

Kennedy aides also make sure that state tavern and restaurant owners are paid a small fee to play the new version of “High Hopes” frequently. Beyond West Virginia, the recording is widely distributed and used during Kennedy’s election. It gets play at campaign rallies, on jukeboxes, and in TV ads. It’s even sung by other Rat Pack entertainers.

The “Jack Pack.”

In 1960, Sinatra labels this group “the Jack Pack” when they work in various ways to support Kennedy’s bid. It’s Kennedy socializing with Sinatra, which turns to political and financial support for JFK.

“The Jack Pack” name is actually a version of “The Rat Pack,” a nickname for Hollywood stars and Las Vegas entertainers that include Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

7 rat pack
(L-R) The Rat Pack members are Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop and in the middle Sammy Davis Jr.

During the primary election season, however, Kennedy campaign managers become worried about Sinatra and the Rat Pack or “Jack Pack becoming too connected to the campaign. Democratic rivals, including Hubert Humphrey and Lyndon Johnson, try to cast these associations with the mafia. Their suspicions will come true in West Virginia.

Kennedy needs to win West Virginia for the Democratic Presidential nomination, and the state doesn’t have a very big Catholic population. The Kennedy campaign pulls out all the stops. JFK and his brother Ted campaign all over the state, as does opponent Senator Hubert Humphrey. The Kennedy campaign pays large sums of money to the local Democrat bosses who use the money to sway the voters on whom to vote for. JFK also needs to counter the open anger of Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR’s widow. Mrs. Roosevelt is quoted to say that JFK needs less Profile and more courage, a political swipe at JFK’s winning the Pulitzer Prize for his book “ Profiles in Courage.” This is a big problem in a poor state that respects FDR. But Kennedy does have the support of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr., who mails 50,000 fliers into West Virginia containing his signature. In fact, Kennedy spends so much money to win West Virginia that he later says, “I just received the following wire from my generous Daddy; Dear Jack, Don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.”

8 Eleanor with JFK
JFK tries to convince Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt to swing her support to his side. She ends up going Kennedy in the end after supporting Adlai Stevenson.

Without a primary win in West Virginia, JFK can count on a brokered convention with the Democratic Party bosses deciding the outcome. This is where Lyndon B. Johnson, Adlai Stevenson, and/or Hubert Humphrey can do well.

Jack and his father ask Sinatra to seek election help in West Virginia from Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana. Giancana helps spread cash around the state and also gets certain unions to help get out the vote in the primary election. On February 29, JFK’s father, Joe, arranges a meeting with Johnny Rosselli, Tony Accardo, Sam Giancana, and Murray (“the Camel”) Humphreys at Felix Young’s Restaurant in Manhattan. Kennedy tells the mobsters that he wants cash donations from them for Jack’s presidential campaign. He also is expecting them to make use of the Outfit’s thousands of workers in the fight to elect Jack president. Murray the Camel speaks up to object that Bobby Kennedy is on a racket-busting mission with the McClellan Committee. Joe counters with. “It’s Jack who is running for president, not Bobby”

9 roselli and the boys
(L-R) The mobsters Johnny Rosselli, Tony Accardo, Sam Giancana and Murray “the Camel Humphreys meet in a Manhattan Restaurant with Joe Kennedy to discuss JFK’s Presidential run.

Through George Smathers, a close friend of JFK, the Kennedys are aware that cash will pour into the Nixon campaign from organized crime.

Joseph Kennedy also looks to Frank Sinatra and his entertainment friends for financial help. Sinatra keeps a framed note from JFK hung in his recreation room in Palm Springs. The note reads: “How much can I count on from the boys in Las Vegas?” The boys from Las Vegas throw in $15 million as a matter of fact. In return, the elder Kennedy helps Sinatra get rid of a long-running IRS problems.

Two Pimps in a Pod.

And all the while, the boys are passing the girls around. “I was Frank’s pimp,” Peter Lawford later confesses, “and Frank was Jack’s. It sounds terrible now, but at the time it was a lot of fun.”

On March 7, the night before the New Hampshire primary, Judith Campbell is waiting for Jack in a suite on a different floor of the Plaza Hotel. According to Campbell, it’s a wonderful night of lovemaking. “Jack couldn’t have been more loving, more concerned about my feelings, more considerate, more gentle. It was amazing to me that he could be so relaxed on the eve of the first primary of his presidential campaign, but unbelievably, he didn’t mention New Hampshire once during our entire night together. The next morning, he sent me a dozen red roses with a card that said, ‘Thinking of you…J.’ ”

But that thoughtfulness doesn’t last. After JFK’s election to the presidency, Campbell will say, “Because of his bad back and an arrogance that overtakes him in the White House, he develops a cavalier attitude in bed, as if he is there to be serviced.”

The following day, March 8, JFK wins the New Hampshire primary. He now has enough primary votes to win the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. The other big winner in New Hampshire is Richard M. Nixon in the Republican primary.

10 JFK wins Nebraska
JFK speaks to diners after winning the New Hampshire primary.

By March 1960, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans office is telling J. Edgar Hoover that “Dandy Phil” Kastel, Carlos Marcello and Joe Fischetti are supporting the nomination of John F. Kennedy with huge sums of money. Anyone and everyone associated with Las Vegas gambling is under scrutiny for campaign fraud.

The FBI along with the American public knows Frank Sinatra is going to campaign for Kennedy. But Hoover keeps a sharp eye on Kennedy’s brother- in-law, Peter Lawford, who has a piece of the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. Hoover also knows that the Sands is controlled by Joseph (“Doc”) Stacher, Meyer Lansky’s alter ego in Las Vegas. Sinatra himself is given 9 percent of the Sands.

An informant tells J. Edgar Hoover that JFK is having sex with a woman of questionable character in Las Vegas, Nevada, during the time Ocean’s Eleven is being filmed. The woman in question is Judith Campbell.

At the same time, JFK is hanging out with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the regulars of the Rat Pack. Hoover’s informant says, “He would hate to see a pawn of the hoodlum element such as Sinatra have access to the White House.”

The FBI starts watching Judith Campbell. They also keep tabs on certain airline stewardesses in Miami that JFK has been seeing. These women might present an image problem for JFK should he be elected.

JFK meets Judith Campbell in Las Vegas during the filming of Frank Sinatra’s “ Ocean 11” movie.

Three weeks later on March 26, Campbell joins Sinatra in Miami Beach at the Fontainebleau hotel, where Frank is the main attraction. Sinatra performs a duet with Elvis Presley on stage as part of the Frank Sinatra Timex “Welcome Home Elvis” show. Together they sing a duet with “Witchcraft” and “Love Me Tender” Campbell is in the audience as Frank’s invited guest.

12 Elvis Show
Frank Sinatra produces the Timex T.V. “Welcome Home Elvis” show. Sinatra invites Judith Campbell to the taping of the show.

Sam Giancana Meets Judith Campbell.

After the show in a private party, Frank presents Judith Campbell to his mobster friends, Joe Fischetti and Sam Giancana, whom Sinatra refers to as “Sam Flood. “I didn’t know then that Sam was the Chicago Godfather,” says Campbell, “but I did know he was important to Frank because of the way Sinatra acted around him, bowing and scraping and being so different.”

Giancana takes to Judith immediately, but she tells him that her affair with Jack Kennedy is just for him at this time. Sinatra, who broke Campbell in himself before passing her around, includes her in a little Kennedy family party at the Sands in Las Vegas early on in the primaries. Things start up that evening between Judith and JFK.

Campbell would later testify that she felt like she is being set up to be their courier at the time.

April 4, 1960, the 32nd Academy Awards is hosted by Bob Hope, The epic drama Ben-Hur wins 11 Oscars. The number one hit song during this month is the “Theme from A Summer Place” by Percy Faith and his orchestra.

13 Bob Hope Ben Hur
Bob Hope hosts the 1960 Academy Awards with the movie Ben Hur winning 11 Oscars.

April 5, 1960, Wisconsin is the next stop in the primaries. No one in the Kennedy campaign wants his Catholic religion to be an issue. Kennedy first opposes Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey in the Wisconsin primary on April 5, and defeats him. Kennedy’s attractive sisters, brothers, and wife Jacqueline travel the state rounding up votes, leading Humphrey to complain that he “feels like an independent merchant competing against a store chain.” However, it appears that Kennedy’s victory comes almost entirely from Catholic areas, and thus Humphrey decides to only stay in the contest in the mainly Protestant state of West Virginia. The first televised debate of 1960 is held in West Virginia, and Kennedy wins over Humphrey. Humphrey’s campaign, now low on money and unable to compete for advertising dollars and other “get-out-the-vote” drives with Kennedy’s well-organized campaign is thinking of dropping out.

14 jfk humphrey debate
Moderator Bill Ames flipping a coin to determine which Democratic presidential candidate, Hubert Humphrey or John F. Kennedy, will begin a televised debate, Charleston, West Virginia, 1960.

Greasing the Wheels.

The following evening, JFK is at his Georgetown house. Jackie is pregnant with John, Jr., in Florida. Jack’s nighttime visitor is Judith Campbell along with a third person, a lobbyist named Bill Thompson, Jack’s wartime buddy. According to Campbell, “Jack and Thompson spend the entire evening discussing how to win the West Virginia primary. That is the one Jack is really worried about because he is Catholic and running against Hubert Humphrey, a Protestant, in a state that is 95 percent Protestant. Jack and Thompson talk about getting money into West Virginia and about who has the influence in that state. In the middle of their conversation, Jack turns to Campbell and asks if she can arrange a meeting with Sam Giancana? Campbell asks why, and Jack replies he thinks he may need his help in the campaign. “Try to get me a few dates,” he says. “The sooner the better.” Campbell knows that Sinatra is also trying to help with the campaign. Sam is a friend of Frank’s so why not. Then Jack asks if she is willing to take something to Sam for him. He tells her cash and a bunch of it. Then Jack explains she will be traveling by train and there will be someone else who, will be there for her protection. Jack then gives her a heavy leather bag and sends her to her hotel, the Sheraton.

April 8, 1960 JFK drafts a three-page letter in pencil about a conversation with Bobby Baker, the secretary of the Democratic membership of the Senate and a protégé́ of Lyndon Johnson. Baker meets secretly with JFK and warns him that a New Jersey lawyer named Mickey Weiner has approached him. Baker is told that Alicia Darr the wife of “a well-known movie actor” is willing to give Johnson a document admitting to an affair with JFK in return for $150,000. Baker said he thought it was blackmail, and would not inform Johnson of the matter.

15 letter
The 3-page letter from JFK to Bobby Baker about the $150,000 for the Alicia Darr charge.

Earlier that same morning, Campbell arrives at the Chicago club at 8:30am. Giancana is already there waiting. She tells Sam that Jack wants to meet with him because he needs his help in the campaign. Sam agrees to the meeting. The date is set for April 12th at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach.

Just 4 days later on April 12, Sam Giancana and JFK sit on the outdoor patio of Kennedy’s penthouse suite #1784. While no one can hear exactly what is being said, there are hand gestures by both JFK & Giancana. In all appearances, a friendly understanding is reached, and then Giancana leaves. Next door in penthouse suite #1782 is Campbell. She asks Jack how did it go, and he responds, “Very good.”

Jack is very happy with the meeting and thanks Campbell for making it happen. He also adds that he and Jackie will be getting a divorce if he doesn’t get the nomination in July. They just want to go off in different directions, he tells her. Jack then gives Judith an envelope with two one thousand dollar bills.

May 5, 1960, the 500 Club in Atlantic City, the biggest names in politics, sports and the mob, mingle, smoke, drink, gamble and cut deals in secret rooms with roulette wheels, crap tables, baccarat and high-stakes card games. Everyone is protected by a police department on Paul “Skinny” D’Amato’s gangster payroll. Payoff money arrives at the casino by deposits made by Frank Sinatra. Skinny makes sure the state’s political machine is well greased. Their job is to get the vote out for Kennedy—any way they can.

16 500 Club Atlantic City
Atlantic City’s 500 Club is the location for Kennedy’s get out the vote payoffs with the mafia.

On May 10, Kennedy wins the West Virginia primary easily, with 61 percent of the vote. It is Kennedy’s seventh victory in the primaries. On the following day, Hubert Humphrey drops out of the presidential race.

West Virginia reveals that Kennedy, a Catholic, can win in a heavily Protestant state. The Democratic Party leaders and delegates are searching for a “fresh face” that can win a national election. Following the primaries, Kennedy travels around the nation speaking to state delegations and their leaders. As the Democratic Convention opens, Kennedy is in the lead, but he is still short of the delegate total needed to win. Other Democratic rivals still in the running will challenge Kennedy at the convention. Chief among these is U.S. Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas. Governor Pat Brown of California and Senator Stuart Symington from Missouri also are still in the running.

17 candidates 1
(L-R) 1960 Democratic presidential candidates: JFK, Gov. Pat Brown, Stuart Symington and LBJ from Texas.

Former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson and Senator Wayne Morse from Oregon also are still competing. Senator Hubert Humphrey from Minnesota has dropped out.

21 adlai vs LBJ
(L-R) Democratic Candidates Gov. Adlai Stevenson and Wayne Morse are still running. Senator Hubert Humphrey drops out.

Kennedy is bothered by some Democratic Party elders (such as former President Harry S. Truman) who say he is too youthful and inexperienced to be president. These detractors suggest that he should agree to be the running mate for another Democrat. Kennedy states bluntly, “I’m not running for vice president, I’m running for president.”

Welcome Home, Elvis.

Frank Sinatra’s “Welcome Home Elvis” TV special broadcasts on May 18. According to reports at the time it earns “very large viewing numbers.” That special includes other Rat Pack members, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford, and Sinatra’s daughter, Nancy. All in all, it’s a really big night for both Sinatra and JFK.

19 Welcome Home Elvis
Frank Sinatra produces the Timex “Welcome Home Elvis” TV special broadcast May 10,1960.

By the summer of 1960 Jack wants a pain doctor who will travel with him on the road and give him back relief when he needs it. Charles Spaulding, an old university friend and currently working in the Kennedy campaign, introduces JFK to Dr. Feelgood, German-born physician Max Jacobson. Dr. Jacobson is famous for his infamous injected cocktails of steroids and amphetamines that make Jack’s back pain disappear, but also send him into orbit with soaring energy and sexual desires.

20 jfk-max-jacobsen-dr-feelgood
(L) JFK finds pain relief with (R) Dr. Max Jacobson also known as Dr. Feelgood.

Meanwhile, Jackie, who has been a chain smoker all her life, refuses to stop the habit but keeps it out of the public view. Smoking seems to temporarily alleviate her own anxiety over the state of her marriage. Jack claims it contributes to her miscarriages. She hates being a politician’s wife and is slowly coming apart.

During the summer of 1960, Helen Chavchavadze is teaching part-time and finishing her college degree at Georgetown University when she gets a call from Charles Bartlett (the journalist who had introduced Jack and Jackie) inviting her to a dinner party. JFK, who was only weeks away from the Democratic nomination, had specifically requested her presence. After dinner, as she is driving home to Georgetown in her Volkswagen Beetle, JFK pulls up beside her in his white convertible. “He followed me home,” she said. “I had an affair with Jack, and it began then.”

Helen Chavchavadze is a 27-year-old brunette divorcée with two young daughters when she meets JFK. She is the first cousin of John Husted, the man Jackie had thrown over to marry Jack, as well as a classmate of Jackie’s sister, Lee.

May 21, after winning the Oregon primary, JFK calls on Adlai Stevenson in an attempt to garner his support. JFK hears that LBJ has invited Stevenson to “go out and corral some votes” against Kennedy, saying, “We’ll teach that little prick a thing to two.” JFK tells Stevenson, “Lyndon is a chronic liar. He makes all sorts of promises and has lived up to none of them.” According to JFK, the only way to treat LBJ is to beat him. “That forking bastard can only understand power.”

Stevenson prefers to be a go between with JFK and LBJ. This is the beginning of a feeling of mistrust between Stevenson and the Kennedys. Later, JFK says, “I don’t think Adlai realizes that Lyndon Johnson thinks that he’s a fruit cake.” LBJ refers to “that fat ash Stevenson” as “the kind of man who squats when he pees.”

21 adlai vs LBJ
JFK Lyndon Johnson (L) tries to win support from Adlai Stevenson after the Oregon primary.

At a July 4, 1960, news conference, an aide from the Citizens for Johnson Committee — with John Connally standing alongside — publicly announces that JFK has Addison’s disease. This fact is revealed because the committee objects to JFK’s statements with regard to his youth, as if he has better health than anyone else.

22 Connolly announced JKF s Adisons Disease
Texan John Connally in a news conference reveals JFK’s Addison’s disease.

On July 5, Lyndon Johnson formally announces he is in the Democratic race for President. “JFK is winnin’ those beauty contests,” he tells aide Bobby Baker, “but when it gets down to nut-cuttin’ he won’t have the balls to get the job done.”

The Democratic National Convention
July 11-15, 1960

The 1960 Democratic National Convention is held in Los Angeles, California, from July 11-15. The week before the convention opens, Kennedy receives candidates Lyndon B. Johnson, the powerful Senate Majority Leader from Texas, and Adlai Stevenson, the party’s nominee in 1952 and 1956. JFK’s two rivals officially announce their candidacies. Johnson challenges Kennedy to a televised debate before a joint meeting of the Texas and Massachusetts delegations, and Kennedy accepts. Most observers believe Kennedy wins the debate, and Johnson is unable to extend his delegate support beyond the South.

Carlos Marcello attends the Democratic Convention. His loyalty for many years has been with Lyndon Johnson, whose career Marcello has helped finance by way of his organization. John Halfen is Marcello’s bagman in Texas and helps in fending off any legislation relating to slot machines and wire-line gambling. RFK foolishly seeks Marcello out at the convention and begs him to use his influence with the Louisiana delegation to help guarantee a first-ballot victory for his brother. Marcello turns him down and secretly contributes $500,000 to Richard Nixon. RFK will not forget the spurn.

23 RFK Carlos Marcello
(L-R) Robert “Bobby” Kennedy with Martin Luther King and Carlos Marcello who attend the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles.

Later that evening in Peter Lawford’s suite at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, JFK summons Judith Campbell to a late-night party. When all the guests are gone except Kenny O’Donnell, JFK asks Judith to join him in the bedroom. She is shocked to find another woman waiting for them. Campbell declines the invitation to join in with a group sex party.

24 Kenny JFK Campbell
(L-R) Kenny O’Donnell, JFK and Judith Campbell meet up in Peter Lawford’s suite at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Kennedy wins the nomination on the first ballot, and a few days later, more money is sent to Giancana by way of Campbell.

In August, Campbell rents an apartment in New York City’s Navarro Hotel, which she uses for several of Jack’s love trysts. Sam Giancana visits the apartment twice while JFK is there and receives more satchels of money.

25 Navarro Hotel Sam
New York City’s Navarro Hotel is a meeting place between JFK, Judith Campbell and Sam Giancana.

LBJ knows that JFk is a sex addict, so in September, when JFK is in Dallas campaigning for the presidency, LBJ gets him just what he needs. Unbeknownst to JFK, Bobby Baker sends word by way of the Johnson network to Joe Campisi at the Egyptian Lounge, who then calls Jack Ruby. He fixes JFK up with Jada, a stripper from the Carousel Club. She calls on JFK at the Adolphus Hotel. LBJ is also in Dallas with Madeline Brown that day. Why would Johnson help JFK get laid? Because this favor would be saved and in good hands with his aide Bobby Baker. So when LBJ needs to put a little axle grease on a Senate Appropriations Bill, he will turn that chip into real political currency.

26 Jada at Adolphus
JFK meets Jack Ruby’s dancer Jada at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas.

The Debates

The 1st Kennedy-Nixon Debate
September 26, 1960

The key turning point of the 1960 presidential race comes with the four Kennedy-Nixon debates. They are the first televised presidential debates in history.
In the run-up to the first debate, Richard Nixon keeps on campaigning until just a few hours before the debate starts. To make matters worse, he has not recovered from recent time in the hospital and looks pale and tired. He refuses make-up, and as a result, his facial whiskers show up harshly on the black-and-white TV screens. Nixon’s poor appearance on television in the first debate is confirmed by the fact that his mother calls him immediately following the debate to ask if he is sick. Kennedy, on the other hand, is rested and well prepared. He appears tanned, confident, and relaxed during the debate. An estimated 70,000,000 viewers watch the first debate.

People who see the debate on television significantly believe Kennedy wins, while radio listeners think Nixon defeats him.

27 Kennedy Nixon Debate Stats
Kennedy-Nixon Debate Stats: Most people believe Kennedy wins the debates.

The Election
November 8, 1960

On November 8, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts defeats Vice President Richard M. Nixon for the presidency in one of the closest and most heated elections in American history. JFK ends up winning over Nixon by just 0.1 percent in the popular vote and 303 electorate votes.

28 JFK Clinches It
November 8, 1960, Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy defeats Vice President Richard M. Nixon for the presidency.

The Outcome

Some researchers and journalists believe that Kennedy benefits from voter fraud, especially in Texas, where his running mate Lyndon B. Johnson is senator, and in Illinois, home of Mayor Richard Daley’s powerful Chicago political machine. These two states are very important because if Nixon carries both, he wins the majority in the Electoral College and the presidency.

Also, others believe that mobster Sam Giancana and his Chicago crime organization “play a role” in Kennedy’s win in Illinois.

In Texas, Kennedy defeats Nixon by a 51 to 49% margin, or 46,000 votes. Many political analysts argue that Johnson’s powerful political machine stole enough votes in counties along the Mexican border to give Kennedy the victory. Johnson’s political machine in the lower Rio Grande Valley counties, including the infamous Duval County, manages to produce a great number of “forged votes” for Kennedy.

After the election, Sam Giancana continues to tell Judith Campbell every time they are together that JFK would never be President if it hadn’t been for his efforts in Cook County, Illinois, and West Virginia.

29 JFK Campbell Sam
(L-R) JFK, Judith Campbell and Sam Giancana. JFK uses his mistress Judith Campbell as a courier with Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana.

After the election, Frank Sinatra is singled out for his campaign help. He is of course happy with JFK’s victory, and will continue his friendship with the president-elect in the years ahead. Once the Kennedy victory is announced, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI agents pay a visit to the Sands Hotel, picking up any film or pictures of JFK with women.

Sleazy Does It.

On November 25, at 12; 22 a.m., Jackie Kennedy is giving birth to her 1st born son, John F. Kennedy, Jr., at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. At that exact hour, JFK is in Palm Beach Florida, in a swimming pool naked with his neighbor’s wife, Flo Pritchett Smith. Everyone is looking for him, including the Secret Service. Finally, the White House calls the Palm Beach Police Chief who tells them. “Hell, I know where he is! He’s in Flo Pritchett’s swimming pool. And he’s not doing the Australian crawl either.”

30 Jackie, JJ, Flor, JKF poolside
As Jacqueline Kennedy is giving birth to John Jr., JFK is in Palm Beach, Florida, swimming naked with his neighbor’s wife Flo Pritchett Smith, the wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Cuba.

As it turns out, Jack’s brothers are really around Jackie more than he is during her critical times. While Jack is away campaigning for President, Teddy is at home hitting on Jackie. Ted confesses to Jackie that he’s been in love with her from the day she first arrived at Hyannis Port on JFK’s arm. She is in the early stages of her pregnancy with John and had campaigned with Teddy in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, the only Kennedy who isn’t paying her much attention is her own husband.

Three days later, on November 28, Blaze Starr sees JFK again. A news-correspondent friend of Jack’s arranges the meeting at his home in Georgetown. Kennedy arrives with several Secret Service men. There is wine and cheese for everyone and music on the stereo. The group chitchats briefly, then Kennedy starts to climb the stairs, with Blaze hot on his heels. The sex date lasts only a few minutes, and when she comes back down somebody says, “Y’all get in a fight up here? Is the boss upset?” Blaze says, “I guarantee he’s one happy fella right now.” In a bit, Kennedy comes down the stairway, smiling, and fixing his necktie. He promises her a White House visit, she says.

31 Baze with JFK
Burlesque queen Blaze Starr has several sex dates with JFK.