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Judith Exner (I934 – 1999) had lots of dates. She was married to William Campbell, but divorced him in 1959 when she began a relationship with Frank Sinatra. Frank Sinatra introduced her to presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and she was allegedly JFK’s mistress until 1962 when the FBI revealed their knowledge of the relationship. Sinatra also introduced Exner to “Sam Flood”, who was actually Sam Giancana – mobster and boss of the Chicago Outfit from 1957-1966. She was his mistress from 1962 until about 1964.
While you may want to think of Exner as a villian, she kept thiese secrets until 1974 when she was issued a subpoena by the Church Committee, a Senate investigation of assassinations. Her story would have been relegated to classified archives, but William Safire and others investigated a brief footnote in the Committee Report referring to an unnamed “friend of the president” who acted as courier for information with the Mafia. Her identity was leaked to the Scripps Howard team who published it in The New York Times.
In an interview with CNN’s Larry King, gossip columnist Liz Smith described the woman who would finally put the Camelot myth of Kennedy to rest as “a deluded 25-year-old girl who was in love with the president of the United States. … I mean, terribly, terribly misunderstood, maligned, misbelieved because, you know, she did lie a lot because she was fearful for her life. And I think what people don’t remember about Judith Exner was she didn’t talk or blab or anything until they made her, a congressional committee made her talk.”
With her identity unmasked anyway, Exner wrote the book Judith Exner: My Story (1977) – which became a best seller.