Clint Hill honored with Rough Rider Award

Published: Nov. 19, 2018 at 6:03 PM CST
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Clint Hill is the 44th recipient of the Rough Rider award. The retired Secret service agent accepted the honor Monday in his hometown of Washburn.

It was a day of both laughter and tears. Hill served five presidents during his time in the secret service, but gained national attention for jumping on the back of the car when former president John F Kennedy was shot in Dallas in 1963.

“A humble and dedicated man who is always been proud of his roots here in North Dakota,” said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

Clint Hill is the first member of law enforcement to be honored with the Rough Rider award

“I can think of no other person who epitomizes all we as a society have come to rely upon for our collective safety then Clint Hill,” Stenehjem said.

Hill, known for jumping on the car president John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie were riding in during a stop in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

“Who leapt so selflessly onto the back of the limousine to shield the president and the first lady with his own body?” Governor Doug Burgum asked. “It was Clint Hill.”

Hill retired in 1975, and returned to his sister's farm in North Dakota, spending years not talking about the day that changed the country, and his life.

“I may have left North Dakota because of employment opportunities but my heart and soul will always be here in Washburn, along the banks of the Missouri River, in Mclean County,” Hill said.

And it's in Washburn where Hill is honored with North Dakota's highest commemoration for its citizens.

Also speaking at the ceremony were Joe Scargill, the special agent in charge of secret service in Minneapolis, and Lisa McCubbin, the co-author of Hill's three books about his experience as a secret service agent.