James Joseph Rowley

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James Joseph Rowley (October 14, 1908 – November 1, 1992) was the head of the United States Secret Service between 1961 and 1973,[1] under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.

Rowley was born in the Bronx, New York to James J. Rowley and Bridget Theresa McTeague.[2] His parents were Irish immigrants who met in New York City and were married in Manhattan.[2]

Rowley been working for the Secret Service since 1938 during the days of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration after first joining the FBI in 1936. On June 18, 1964, Rowley provided testimony to the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy.[3] After the assassination, Secret Service training was regularized and systematized. The James J. Rowley Training Center in Beltsville, Maryland is named after him.

Rowley was a Roman Catholic. His brother Francis, was a Catholic priest who belonged to the largest all-male religious order in the Roman Catholic Church, the Jesuits.

Rowley died of congestive heart failure at his home in Leisure World, Maryland.[1]


  1. ^ a b Saxon, Wolfgang (November 3, 1992). "James Rowley, 84, Who Headed Secret Service and Reorganized It". The New York Times. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Rowley, James J. (September 20, 1988). "Oral History Interview with James J. Rowley; Secret Service agent in charge of the White House detail during the Truman Administration." (Interview). Interview with Neil M. Johnson. Kensington, Maryland. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Testimony of James J. Rowley". Hearings Before the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Volume V. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1964. pp. 449–486. 

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Preceded by
U.E. Baughman
Chief, United States Secret Service
September 1, 1961 – 1965
Succeeded by
Himself (as Director)
Preceded by
Himself (as Chief)
Director, United States Secret Service
1965 – October 1973
Succeeded by
H. Stuart Knight