Online Collection

Letter sent to Jack Ruby at Parkland Hospital

Object Number: 2004.008.0025
Category: Documents
Type of Object: Letter
Dimensions: 10 1/2 x 7 1/4 in. (26.7 x 18.4 cm)
Medium: Paper
Description
Handwritten letter addressed to Jack Ruby. A widely distributed December 1966 news story reporting that Jack Ruby had been diagnosed with cancer at Parkland Hospital inspired a flood of letters, telegrams and postcards from people around the world. This letter from Atlanta, Georgia resident Louise M. Purser, postmarked December 24, 1966, suggested to Ruby that he drink one ounce of mineral water each day to alleviate his suffering.
Curator's Notes

According to the donor of this letter, former Dallas County deputy sheriff Al Maddox, Jack Ruby began receiving letters and telegrams immediately after the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963. Letters continued to arrive on a regular basis until just after Jack Ruby's death at Parkland Memorial Hospital on January 3, 1967.

Maddox recalled that within twenty-four hours of the Oswald shooting, Ruby had already received 98 letters; most were congratulatory, while only four specifically criticized his act of violence. After that, remembered Al Maddox, "He'd get a hundred a day. It was nothing to get a hundred a day--85, 90 letters a day." - Stephen Fagin, Curator

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