Dr Earl Rose (Earl Rose)

Dr Earl Rose

JFK Assassination Figure. A forensic pathologist, he is remembered for his unsuccessful attempt to retain the President’s body in Dallas for autopsy. Raised on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in western South Dakota he attended one room Indian schools then during World War II joined the US Navy and served aboard the submarine “USS Sea Devil” in the South Pacific. Resuming his education after the conflict he attended Yankton College and the University of South Dakota before earning his M.D. from the University of Nebraska in 1953. After pathology training at Baylor University and at the Daughters of Charity St. Vincent De Paul Hosptial in St. Louis Dr. Rose took his forensic pathology fellowship at Richmond’s Medical College of Virginia then worked for a time in the Old Dominion. Relocating to Dallas he received his J.D. from the Southern Methodist University Law School and was serving as Medical Examiner of Dallas County on November 22, 1963; interestingly while it was at that time a Federal crime to threaten or attempt to kill the President it was not then such to actually do it, thus Dr. Rose asserted jurisdiction in the name of Texas and forcibly tried to block US Secret Service agents headed by a gun holding Roy Kellerman from removing the body from Parkland Hospital for transportation to Naval Hospital Bethesda. The doctor bowed to superior force but was to perform the autopsies on J.D. Tippitt, the Dallas policeman allegedly killed by accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, on Oswald himself, and later on Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby who had gunned-down Oswald in front of rolling television cameras. He moved to Iowa City in 1968 where he was for many years a respected professor at the University of Iowa Medical School and did not speak out concerning the Kennedy assassination until Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” was released in 1991. Not particularly angry at the Secret Service, he never stated that Navy Drs. Humes and Boswell “got it wrong” but did continue to maintain that he was right in his desire to keep the case, that the autopsy had lost its legal value as evidence when the chain of custody of the body was broken, and that there would have been less suspicion of outside interference had he been allowed to do the procedure. Dr. Rose was active in the Mennonite Church, lived out his days in Iowa City, and died in a nursing facility after being in progressively declining health with Parkinson’s Disease since 2005. (bio by: Bob Hufford)


  • September, 26, 1926
  • USA


  • May, 05, 2012
  • USA


  • Cremated

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