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Jack Ready, Secret Service agent who guarded Kennedy in Dallas, dies at 86

Jack Ready (front) with the president in Fort Worth, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963.
Jack Ready (front) with the president in Fort Worth, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963.Cecil Stoughton/White HousE

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Jack Ready, a special agent in the US Secret Service, thought he heard firecrackers as the presidential motorcade made its way past Dealey Plaza in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. He realized his mistake when someone said that the president had been shot.

Mr. Ready, a key member of the White House detail that guarded President John Kennedy on the day he was assassinated, died Feb. 24 in Fort Washington, Md. He was 86.

During a two-decade career with the Secret Service, he helped protect two presidents, an ex-president, a vice president, numerous visiting foreign dignitaries, and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

The job demanded grueling hours and long stretches away from home during presidential trips — the most famous of which was to Dallas in 1963.

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