Killing Kennedy

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Killing Kennedy
Killing Kennedy.jpg
First edition cover
AuthorBill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
SubjectAssassination of John F. Kennedy
PublisherHenry Holt and Company
Publication date
October 2, 2012
Media typeHardcover

Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot is a 2012 non-fiction book by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard about the assassination of the 35th President of the United States John F. Kennedy.[1] It is a follow-up to O'Reilly's 2011 book Killing Lincoln. Killing Kennedy was released on October 2, 2012 through Henry Holt and Company.[2]


In Killing Kennedy the authors narrate the events leading up to the assassination of President Kennedy as well as the event's aftermath. O'Reilly and Dugard also focus on the element of the growing Cold War, Kennedy's attempt to deal with the rise of Communism, and the potential threat from organized crime.[3]


Critical response to Killing Kennedy was mixed, with The New York Times writing that the book was at times disappointing but that it "picks up strength as it heads for its date with destiny".[4] The book has been criticized for a "lack of citation and occasional 'literary liberties'". For example, in the prologue, the authors write, "Kennedy is the youngest president ever elected. Eisenhower is the oldest."[5] While Kennedy was the youngest president ever elected at the time of his inauguration and remains so today, Dwight D. Eisenhower was not the oldest ever elected even in 1961 at the time of Kennedy's inauguration. William Henry Harrison was the oldest president ever elected as of 1961. However, in 1961 at the end of his term Eisenhower was the oldest president to date, as Harrison died one month into his term at the age of 68 years 54 days. Eisenhower was 70 years 98 days old on the day of Kennedy's inauguration.

O'Reilly has stated that he and Dugard wrote the book to be "fun" and "to get people engaged with their country".[6] The book sold 118,000 copies in its first week.[7]

Another passage where O'Reilly claims he was present outside the Florida home of alleged conspirator George de Mohrenschildt when he committed suicide has been shown by several sources to be false, as he was known not to be in the state at the time.[8][9] In response, the publisher Henry Holt and Company issued a statement: "This one passage is immaterial to the story being told by this terrific book and we have no plans to look into this matter."[9]


After the success of Killing Lincoln, National Geographic Channel announced it would produce a film adaptation of Killing Kennedy.[10][11] In May 2013, it was announced that Rob Lowe was to play President John F. Kennedy, Ginnifer Goodwin would play First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and Michelle Trachtenberg would portray Lee Harvey Oswald's wife Marina Oswald.[12] The television film premiered on November 10, 2013.[13] On its original airing, it drew in 3,354,000 viewers, averaging a 1.1 rating with adults in the 25-54 demographic. The viewership broke the record previously held by Killing Lincoln which averaged 3,351,000 viewers.[14]


  1. ^ Lewis, Andy. "Bill O'Reilly to Pen Book on Kennedy Assassination". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  2. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob (October 1, 2012). "JFK assassination gets the O'Reilly treatment". USA Today. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  3. ^ "'Killing Kennedy' Is Intriguing". AARP Radio. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  4. ^ Maslin, Janet (October 10, 2012). "Unabashed in the Face of Tragedy". New York Times. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  5. ^ O'Reily & Dugard, Killing Kennedy (2012), Prologue
  6. ^ "Bill O'Reilly returns to presidential assassinations with his new book 'Killing Kennedy'". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  7. ^ Publishers Weekly (October 10, 2012). "Riordan, O'Reilly Post Huge Debuts". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  8. ^ "O'Reilly Lied About Suicide Of JFK Assassination Figure, Former Colleagues Say". Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  9. ^ a b Gold, Hadas (March 2, 2015). "CNN publishes O'Reilly tape". Politico. Retrieved March 3, 2015. CNN has published a recording of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly from the 1970s that indicates he was not present outside the Florida house where an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald committed suicide.
  10. ^ "Bill O'Reilly's 'Killing Lincoln' Sets NatGeo Ratings Record". Inquistir, Ld. The Inquistir. February 21, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  11. ^ Hibberd, James (February 18, 2013). "'Killing Lincoln' gives NatGeo record ratings". Entertainment Weekly Inc. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  12. ^ Hibberd, James (May 28, 2013). "Rob Lowe to play JFK in Nat Geo movie". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  13. ^ Duboff, Josh (October 23, 2013). "Killing Kennedy's Rob Lowe on J.F.K.: "He Wouldn't Have Been Elected Now"". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  14. ^ O'Connell, Michael (November 11, 2013). "TV Ratings: 'Killing Kennedy' Edges Past 'Killing Lincoln' Record With 3.4 Million Viewers". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 16, 2014.

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