Michael Paine

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For those of a similar name, see Michael Payne (disambiguation).
Michael Ralph Paine
Born June 25, 1928
New York, New York, U.S.
Education Harvard University
Swarthmore College
Occupation Engineer (retired)
Spouse(s) Ruth Avery Hyde (m. 1957-1970)
Children Lynn Paine (b. 1959)
Christopher Paine (b. 1961)
Parents Lyman Paine
Ruth Forbes Paine Young

Michael Ralph Paine (born June 25, 1928) is a retired engineer who worked for Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, Texas in 1963. He became notable after the assassination of John F. Kennedy because of his and his wife's acquaintance with assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Early life[edit]

Paine was born in New York, New York. His father was Lyman Paine, an architect and activist. His mother was Ruth Forbes Paine Young, financial backer of International Peace Academy and daughter of Elise Cabot Forbes, a scion of the Cabot family. He had one sibling: Cameron Paine.[1]

Paine graduated from high school in New York in 1947. He attended Harvard University for two years and Swarthmore College for a year, but did not graduate.[1]


After working in the U.S. Army, Paine worked a few months for Griswold Manufacturing Co. After that, Paine worked at Bartol Research Foundation in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania for about a year. He then worked for his mother's second husband Arthur M. Young, making helicopter models in Pennsylvania.[1]

In 1958, Paine became employed at Bell Helicopter[1] through Young, his stepfather and designer of the first commercial helicopter, Bell 47.

Personal life[edit]

In 1957, he married Ruth Avery Hyde in Pennsylvania. They had two children:[1] Lynn (b. 1959) and Christopher (b. 1961).[2] In 1959, they relocated to Irving, Texas[2] when Paine began work at a Bell Helicopter facility in Fort Worth.

In February 1963, Paine's wife was introduced to Marina Oswald and her husband, Lee Harvey Oswald by a family friend from the singing group, Everett Glover, at a party Paine didn't attend because of a cold. Paine met the Oswalds for the first time in April when his wife invited them over for dinner. In late September 1963, when Paine and his wife were separated, and he had his own apartment in Grand Prairie, Texas, and would visit the family home on weekends, Marina and her daughter went to live with Paine's wife. Lee Harvey Oswald rented a room in Dallas but stored some of his possessions in Paine’s garage, including a supposed rifle wrapped in a blanket which Paine thought to be camping equipment.[1] Paine's wife helped Oswald get a job at the Texas School Book Depository. Paine's testimony would later become a central feature of the Warren Commission's investigation of the assassination, particularly in regard to the presence of the purported assassination rifle in the garage of his family home.

Paine and his wife were portrayed in Oliver Stone's JFK as characters called "Bill and Janet Williams," presumably to avoid legal action.[3]

He is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Testimony Of Michael R. Paine". Marquette University, reproduced from Warren Commission. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Mallon, Thomas (December 3, 2001). "Marina and Ruth: The Assassin's Wife and the Quaker Who Took Her In". Marquette University, reproduced from The New Yorker. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  3. ^ Reitzes, David (2001). "The JFK 100: "Bill and Janet Williams"". jfk-online.com. Retrieved October 18, 2011.