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U.S. History/FDR - personal history of this man


My dad told me a story of a guy he met in the sixties in Florida who claimed to have been one of the personal bodygaurds of FDR. He was pictured in one of the yalta conference photos and his first name I think was Joe. He apparently was a former coast gaurd officer who had made many daring missions to rescue people. The thing is my dad said he had a Thompson submachine gun in his house and still had legal or lifetime permission to own it and use it and police could not do anything about it. I think it was called national security clearance.

In one case there was a biker gang who had kidnapped a young girl and was holding her in a house Nearby where this joe guy lived in retirement in Florida and she escaped and they tried to chase her and he either shot them or wounded them and he wasn't even charged.

I think it's an interesting story and I cannot find any lists of FDR'S personal bodygaurds but would it be possible for you to tell me the full or last name of this guy.?

Thanks. And sorry for something so obscure but it's also kind of personal history since my dad met him and was neighbors with him during winters. While spending winters in Florida from a colder climate up north.

Hi Simon,

That's an interesting story, but I'm afraid that I haven't had much success trying to verify it for you. But here's what I can say: FDR didn't have many bodyguards, and his main one was a former NY state police trooper, who remained with him during the presidency (Earl Miller by name). Also, owning a Thompson submachine gun isn't illegal in the US, so ownership wouldn't require special permission. And, I only found one incident of a girl allegedly being abducted by a member of a biker gang in Florida ( As you'll see, it happened in the 1970s, bikers are only suspected but not proven to be the kidnappers, and the girl (not woman) has not been found. So, while the story you heard could be true, I haven't found anything to support it. However, I recommend contacting the FDR Library and simply asking them for a list of FDR's known security agents, to see if they produce anyone named Joe

Sorry I wasn't able to furnish more substance, but I hope that this is somewhat helpful, Simon!

Thank you,


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Marc Aperio


I'm able to answer most questions about US History, whether related to political, social, economic, or military issues.


I've studied American history for nearly 20 years. I'm currently volunteering for AllExperts in Medieval and European history.

My newest book WE NEED TO TALK: 27 DIALOGUES ON RACE IN AMERICA is available in the Amazon Kindle store. Also the author of AMERICAN REVOLUTION 2016: RATIONALE AND AIMS FOR RADICAL CHANGE

BA History (High Honors)

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