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James Forrestal Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: February 15, 1892 in Matteawan, New York
Died: May 22, 1949 in Montgomery County, Maryland
Biography | show moreshow less
JAMES FORRESTAL (1892-1949), Secretary of the Navy from 1944, became the first Secretary of Defense in 1947. Forrestal helped implement Truman's policy of integrating the armed forces, but clashed with the President over budget cuts. Forrestal met privately with Republican Presidential candidate Dewey, who intended to retain Forrestal in office. Truman summarily dismissed Forrestal on March 31, 1949. Suffering from what may have been nervous exhaustion, Forrestal was hospitalized on April 2. On May 22, Forrestal fell, leaped (or was pushed) to his death from a window at the National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Although suicide remains the most likely cause of death, conspiracy theorists have a field day with this sequence of events.

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