James P. Hosty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
James P. Hosty
James Patrick Hosty

(1924-08-28)August 28, 1924
DiedJune 10, 2011(2011-06-10) (aged 86)
Alma materUniversity of Notre Dame
EmployerFederal Bureau of Investigation
Known forInvestigation of Lee Harvey Oswald
Notable work
Assignment: Oswald (memoir)
TitleSpecial Agent

James Patrick Hosty Jr. (August 28, 1924 – June 10, 2011) was an American FBI agent assigned to investigate Lee Harvey Oswald upon Oswald's June 1962 return to the United States after his defection to the Soviet Union. After Hosty made contact with Marina Oswald (a Soviet citizen) in order to interview her about her recent entry into the United States, Oswald wrote him a letter to protest the "harassment" of his wife Marina, and had Hosty's name and phone number in his address book.[2] After the Kennedy assassination, Hosty did not disclose Oswald's letter about Marina to the Warren Commission and destroyed it on his superior's order. Because of this, Hosty attracted speculation as a possible conspirator in several conspiracy theories.[3] Hosty was transferred to the FBI's Kansas City office until his mandatory retirement in 1979. Hosty later wrote a memoir about the Kennedy assassination, titled Assignment: Oswald.


Hosty was born on August 28, 1924, in Chicago, Illinois.[1] He was one of seven children of Charlotte Irene and James Patrick Hosty Sr., an executive in a sugar company in Chicago. Hosty served in the United States Military during World War II and graduated from the University of Notre Dame.[1]

He received an unsigned note from Lee Harvey Oswald about two weeks before the Kennedy assassination. The note asked Hosty to stop questioning Oswald's wife. Hosty filed it away. He first met Oswald on November 22, 1963. It was while he was interrogating Oswald on November 22 that he realized that the unsigned note he had received two weeks prior was from Oswald. He said that, on orders from his supervisor, he destroyed the note after Oswald was killed on November 24, 1963.[1]

He retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1979.[1]

He died of prostate cancer on June 10, 2011, in Kansas City, Missouri.[1]

Portrayal in fiction[edit]

Hosty was portrayed in the 1991 Oliver Stone film JFK as having a central role in a government conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy and frame Oswald.[1] In the 2011 Stephen King novel 11/22/63, Hosty questions the protagonist Jake Epping, a time traveler who has just narrowly prevented Oswald from killing the president.[4] Hosty is suspicious of Epping because of what he knows about Oswald and his investigation by the FBI, but assists Epping in his efforts to quietly disappear, so that he may return to 2011. (The television adaptation has Epping returning to 2016.)

In 2013, actor Ron Livingston portrayed Hosty in writer/director Peter Landesman's film Parkland, a film which recounts the chaotic events that occurred at Dallas' Parkland Hospital on the day JFK was assassinated.[5][better source needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Vitello, Paul (June 19, 2011). "James P. Hosty, Investigated Oswald, Dies at 86". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  2. ^ http://issuu.com/ajweberman/docs/1adressbookcolor/38?e=0/10629136 p. 38 of Oswald's Address Book.
  3. ^ Goldman, Peter; John J. Lindsay (April 28, 1975). "Dallas: New Questions and Answers" (PDF). Newsweek. New York. p. 37. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  4. ^ King, Stephen (2011). 11/22/63. p. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9781451627305.
  5. ^ IMDB (October 4, 2013). "Parkland". IMDB.