Lee Harvey OSWALD

Family tree of Lee Harvey OSWALD

political murderer, terrorist

AmericanBorn Lee Harvey OSWALD

Assassin of U.S. President John F. Kennedy

Born on October 18, 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA , United States

Died on November 24, 1963 in Dallas, Texas, USA

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Oswald was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and was of English, German, French and Irish ancestry. His father, Robert Edward Lee Oswald, Sr. (New Orleans, March 4, 1896 – New Orleans, August 19, 1939), who had previously been married before marrying Oswald's mother on July 20, 1933, died two months before Lee was born. Mostly on her own, his mother, Marguerite Frances Claverie (New Orleans, July 19, 1907 – Fort Worth, Texas, January 17, 1981), daughter of streetcar conductor, John Claverie, raised Lee and his two older siblings (his brother, Robert, Jr.; and his half-brother, John Pic (1932–2000), Marguerite's son from a previous marriage). Oswald had a stepfather, Edwin Adolph Ekdahl (1888–1965), from 1945 to 1948.

Lee's youth was characterized by extreme mobility; before the age of 18, Oswald had lived in 22 different homes. Because of the short-lived stay in each location, he had attended 12 different schools, mostly around New Orleans; Covington, Louisiana; and Dallas, but also in New York City. His mother placed him in a foster home for 13 months in 1942–1943, when she was too poor to take care of him and his brothers. As a child, Oswald was withdrawn and temperamental. After moving in with his half-brother, who had joined the Coast Guard and was stationed in New York City, Oswald and Pic were asked to leave after an incident in which Oswald allegedly threatened Pic's wife with a knife, and struck his mother. Following charges of truancy, he was put under a three week court-ordered stay for psychiatric assessment in a juvenile reformatory called Youth House. Dr. Renatus Hartogs described Oswald as having a "vivid fantasy life, turning around the topics of omnipotence and power, through which he tries to compensate for his present shortcomings and frustrations," and diagnosed the 14-year-old Oswald as having a "personality pattern disturbance with schizoid features and passive-aggressive tendencies" and recommended continued psychiatric intervention.


Oswald's behavior at school appeared to improve during his last months in New York. In January 1954, his mother Marguerite decided to return to New Orleans with Lee, which prevented him from receiving the care the psychiatrist had recommended. There was still an open question pending before a New York judge whether or not he should be taken from the care of his mother to finish his schooling.

Oswald dropped out of school twice. Oswald left school after one month of 10th grade while in New Orleans. Afterwards, the family moved back to Fort Worth and he started the 10th grade again. After 23 days, he quit and joined the United States Marines. He never received a high school diploma. A dyslexic, he had trouble with spelling and writing coherently. Yet Oswald read voraciously and, by age 15, claimed to be a Marxist from his reading on the topic. He wrote in his diary, "I was looking for a key to my environment, and then I discovered socialist literature. I had to dig for my books in the back dusty shelves of libraries". At 16, Oswald wrote to the Socialist Party of America, stating that he was a Marxist who had been studying socialist principles for "well over fifteen months", and asked for information about their youth league.

However, Edward Voebel, "whom the Warren Commission had established was Oswald's closest friend during his teenage years in New Orleans ... said that reports that Oswald was already 'studying Communism' were a 'lot of baloney.'" Voebel said that "Oswald commonly read 'paperback trash.'"

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Geographical origins

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