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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Earl F. Rose Papers on the Assassination of John F. Kennedy

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1963-2006
Creator: Rose, Earl F. (1926-2012)
Extent: 12.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0860
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Medical Examiner of Dallas County at the time of the assassination of President Kennedy, Rose performed the autopsies on Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby. The reports and projector slides for these autopsies are here, as well as pathology slides for Ruby. Rose also kept clippings files on items related to the assassination, including a series on conspiracy theories. Clippings for other events of the latter half of the twentieth century such as Watergate and the Clinton impeachment are included here as well, as are photocopies of death certificates for some famous and infamous people, such as Nicole Brown Simpson and Bonnie Parker. Correspondence and personal papers form a portion of this collection, as well as a manuscript version of Dallas: My View of History, Rose's memoir of his time in Dallas.

Alternate Extent Statement: Slides, numerous; Floppy disks, Boxes 1, 6; Movie, Box 6; VHS tapes, Box 7.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: This collection was given to the University of Iowa Libraries in 2005.

Preferred Citation: Earl F. Rose Papers on the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Excerpt from My Ana, Rose's memoir:

I was born [on September 23, 1926] and raised during the depression years on a ranch on the Cheyenne Sioux Reservation in Western South Dakota. I went to one room country grade schools, then the the nearest high school twenty-six miles away. [In Eagle Butte.] I dropped out of high school in the spring of 1944 to join the Navy where I served in the South Pacific on the submarine Sea Devil (SS400). When World War II ended we patrolled the China and Yellow Seas, and moored in Shanghai and Tsingstao, China, as a 'military presence.' Following discharge from the United States Navy in 1946, I attended Yankton College, the University of South Dakota, then the University of Nebraska for Medical School where I graduated in 1953.

I interned in Denver, was in general practice in Lemmon, South Dakota, took specialty training in pathology at Baylor University in Texas and in St. Louis with the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent DePaul. I then sub-specialized in forensic pathology at the Medical College of Virginia, and later earned a law degree from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Forensic pathology is the investigation of deaths occurring under suspicious or violent circumstances -- a challenging and interesting field. I worked as a forensic pathologist in Virginia and was the medical examiner for the city and county of Dallas, Texas, at the time of the assassination of President Kennedy. We moved to Iowa City, Iowa, in 1968 to join the faculty of the University of Iowa.

Marilyn Preheim and I were married in the Mennonite Church in 1951. This gathering of believers has been a source of delightful paragraphs and serious stimulating thought. I have been 'forty years a visitor' to their gatherings. Marilyn has continued as my friend, critic, partner, inspiration, and spouse, and in addition, is the mother of our six talented and accomplished children -- Elise, Cecile, Forrest, Karen, Miriam, and Carol.

Rose has written one book

Law in Medical Practice; Sourcebook of Medical Jurisprudence

Law Library KF2905.Z9 R65

and contributed to another

Use of experts : the Forensic Pathologist ; Trial Demonstration : Examination of Expert Witnesses / Earl F. Rose ; Direct examination [by] Lawrence F. Scalise ; Cross examination [by] James P. Hayes.

Law Library KFI4780.5.

This collection consists of information on events of the latter half of the twentieth century, most especially the assassination of John F. Kennedy. As the medical examiner who conducted the autopsies of Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby, Rose has a unique perspective on these events. One third of the collection consists of media coverage of the events, consisting of magazines, newspapers, and video cassettes. The remainder are personal papers of Mr. Rose, and here there are published articles (by other people than Rose, though he was interviewed for the Journal of the American Medical Society). He has gathered information on figures in the assassination and also those of other people, such as Sheriff Bill Decker. He apparently served as an advisor to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and here are brought together materials to be submitted with that report. Rose has also written his recollections of events in Dallas, called Dallas: My View of History, for which there are manuscripts in this collection. Rose's correspondence and other miscellany round out the material. The folders in the collection were rearranged from the order in which we received them, but the content of the folders was not reviewed.
Retired Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry Reveals His Personal JFK Assassination Files

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