Lisa Howard

Lisa Howard

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Lisa Howard was born on 24th April, 1930. She became an actress and in 1950 played the role of a Soviet official in the anti-communist film, Guilty of Treason. She also appeared in Mr. & Mrs. North (1952), Donovan's Brain (1953) and Sabaka (1954). In the late 1950s she was a regular on CBS's Edge of Night.

In 1960 Howard became a correspondent for Mutual Radio Network. Covering the United Nations, she became the first journalist to secure an interview with Nikita Khrushchev. In June 1961 she covered the Vienna summit between President John F. Kennedy and the Soviet leader. Later that year she became the anchor for ABC's noontime news broadcast, The News Hour with Lisa Howard.

In April 1963 McGeorge Bundy suggested to President John F. Kennedy that there should be a "gradual development of some form of accommodation with Castro". In an interview given in 1995, Bundy, said Kennedy needed "a target of opportunity" to talk to Fidel Castro.

In April 1963 Howard arrived in Cuba to make a documentary on the country. In an interview with Howard, Castro agreed that a rapprochement with Washington was desirable. On her return Howard met with the Central Intelligence Agency. Deputy Director Richard Helms reported to John F. Kennedy on Howard's view that "Fidel Castro is looking for a way to reach a rapprochement with the United States." After detailing her observations about Castro's political power, disagreements with his colleagues and Soviet troops in Cuba, the memo concluded that "Howard definitely wants to impress the U.S. Government with two facts: Castro is ready to discuss rapprochement and she herself is ready to discuss it with him if asked to do so by the US Government."

CIA Director John McCone was strongly opposed to Howard being involved with these negotiations with Castro. He argued that it might "leak and compromise a number of CIA operations against Castro". In a memorandum to McGeorge Bundy, McCone commented that the "Lisa Howard report be handled in the most limited and sensitive manner," and "that no active steps be taken on the rapprochement matter at this time."

Arthur Schlesinger explained to Anthony Summers in 1978 why the CIA did not want President Kennedy to negotiate with Fidel Castro during the summer of 1963: "The CIA was reviving the assassination plots at the very time President Kennedy was considering the possibility of normalization of relations with Cuba - an extraordinary action. If it was not total incompetence - which in the case of the CIA cannot be excluded - it was a studied attempt to subvert national policy."

Howard now decided to bypass the CIA and in May, 1963, published an article in the journal, War and Peace Report, Howard wrote that in eight hours of private conversations Castro had shown that he had a strong desire for negotiations with the United States: "In our conversations he made it quite clear that he was ready to discuss: the Soviet personnel and military hardware on Cuban soil; compensation for expropriated American lands and investments; the question of Cuba as a base for Communist subversion throughout the Hemisphere." Howard went on to urge the Kennedy administration to "send an American government official on a quiet mission to Havana to hear what Castro has to say." A country as powerful as the United States, she concluded, "has nothing to lose at a bargaining table with Fidel Castro."

William Attwood, an adviser to the US mission to the United Nations, read Howard's article and on 12th September, 1963, he had a long conversation with her on the phone. This apparently set in motion a plan to initiate secret talks between the United States and Cuba. Six days later Attwood sent a memorandum to Under Secretary of State Averell Harriman and U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson. Attwood asked for permission to establish discreet, indirect contact with Fidel Castro.

On September 20, John F. Kennedy gave permission to authorize Attwood's direct contacts with Carlos Lechuga, the Cuban ambassador to the United Nations. According to Attwood: "I then told Miss Howard to set up the contact, that is to have a small reception at her house so that it could be done very casually, not as a formal approach by us." Howard met Lechuga at the UN on 23rd September 23. Howard invited Lechuga to come to a party at her Park Avenue apartment that night to meet Attwood.

The next day Attwood met with Robert Kennedy in Washington and reported on the talks with Lechuga. According to Attwood the attorney general believed that a trip to Cuba would be "rather risky." It was "bound to leak and... might result in some kind of Congressional investigation." Nevertheless, he thought the matter was "worth pursuing."

On 5th November 5, McGeorge Bundy recorded that "the President was more in favor of pushing towards an opening toward Cuba than was the State Department, the idea being - well, getting them out of the Soviet fold and perhaps wiping out the Bay of Pigs and maybe getting back into normal." Bundy designated his assistant, Gordon Chase, to be Attwood's direct contact at the White House.

Attwood continued to use Howard as his contact with Fidel Castro. In October 1963, Castro told Howard that he was very keen to open negotiations with Kennedy. Castro even offered to send a plane to Mexico to pick up Kennedy's representative and fly him to a private airport near Veradero where Castro would talk to him alone.

John F. Kennedy now decided to send Attwood to meet Castro. On 14th November, 1963, Lisa Howard conveyed this message to her Cuban contact. In an attempt to show his good will, Kennedy sent a coded message to Castro in a speech delivered on 19th November. The speech included the following passage: "Cuba had become a weapon in an effort dictated by external powers to subvert the other American republics. This and this alone divides us. As long as this is true, nothing is possible. Without it, everything is possible."

Kennedy also sent a message to Fidel Castro via the French journalist Jean Daniel. According to Daniel: "Kennedy expressed some empathy for Castro's anti-Americanism, acknowledging that the United States had committed a number of sins in pre-revolutionary Cuba." Kennedy told Daniel that the trade embargo against Cuba could be lifted if Castro ended his support for left-wing movements in the Americas.

Daniel delivered this message on 19th November. Castro told Daniel that Kennedy could become "the greatest president of the United States, the leader who may at last understand that there can be coexistence between capitalists and socialists, even in the Americas." Daniel was with Castro when news arrived that Kennedy had been assassinated Castro turned to Daniel and said:"This is an end to your mission of peace. Everything is changed."

President Lyndon B. Johnson was told about these negotiations in December, 1963. He refused to continue these talks and claimed that the reason for this was that he feared that Richard Nixon, the expected Republican candidate for the presidency, would accuse him of being soft on communism.

Howard refused to give up and in 1964 she resumed talks with Fidel Castro. On 12th February, 1964, she sent a message to President Johnson from Castro asking for negotiations to be restarted. When Johnson did not respond to this message she contacted Adlai Stevenson at the United Nations. On 26th June 26, Stevenson sent a memo to Johnson saying that he felt that "all of our crises could be avoided if there was some way to communicate; that for want of anything better, he assumed that he could call (Lisa Howard) and she call me and I would advise you." In a memorandum marked top secret, Gordon Chase wrote that it was important "to remove Lisa from direct participation in the business of passing messages" from Cuba.

In December, 1964, Howard met with Che Guevara to the United Nations. Details of this meeting was sent to McGeorge Bundy. When Howard got no response she arranged for Eugene McCarthy to meet with Guevara in her apartment on 16th December.

This created panic in the White House and the following day Under Secretary George Ball told Eugene McCarthy that the meeting must remain a secret because there was "suspicion throughout Latin America that the U.S. might make a deal with Cuba behind the backs of the other American states."

Howard continued to try and obtain a negotiated agreement between Fidel Castro and Lyndon B. Johnson. As a result she was fired by ABC because she had "chosen to participate publicly in partisan political activity contrary to long established ABC news policy."

Lisa Howard died at East Hampton, Long Island, on 4th July, 1965. It was officially reported that she had committed suicide. Apparently, she had taken one hundred phenobarbitols. It was claimed she was depressed as a result of losing her job and suffering a miscarriage.

Fidel Castro's interview with Lisa Howard

On the 40th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the eve of the broadcast of a new documentary film on Kennedy and Castro, the National Security Archive today posted an audio tape of the President and his national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy, discussing the possibility of a secret meeting in Havana with Castro. The tape, dated only seventeen days before Kennedy was shot in Dallas, records a briefing from Bundy on Castro's invitation to a US official at the United Nations, William Attwood, to come to Havana for secret talks on improving relations with Washington. The tape captures President Kennedy's approval if official US involvement could be plausibly denied.

The possibility of a meeting in Havana evolved from a shift in the President's thinking on the possibility of what declassified White House records called "an accommodation with Castro" in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Proposals from Bundy's office in the spring of 1963 called for pursuing "the sweet approach…enticing Castro over to us," as a potentially more successful policy than CIA covert efforts to overthrow his regime. Top Secret White House memos record Kennedy's position that "we should start thinking along more flexible lines" and that "the president, himself, is very interested in (the prospect for negotiations)." Castro, too, appeared interested. In a May 1963 ABC News special on Cuba, Castro told correspondent Lisa Howard that he considered a rapprochement with Washington "possible if the United States government wishes it. In that case," he said, "we would be agreed to seek and find a basis" for improved relations.

1. Please tell President Johnson that I earnestly desire his election to the Presidency in November… though that appears assured. But if there is anything I can do to add to his majority (aside from retiring from politics), I shall be happy to cooperate. Seriously, I observe how the Republicans use Cuba as a weapon against the Democrats. So tell President Johnson to let me know what I can do, if anything. Naturally, I know that my offer of assistance would be of immense value to the Republicans - so this would remain our secret. But if the President wishes to pass word to me he can do so through you (Lisa Howard). He must know that he can trust you; and I know that I can trust you to relay a message accurately.

2. If the President feels it necessary during the campaign to make bellicose statements about Cuba or even to take some hostile action - if he will inform me, unofficially, that a specific action is required because of domestic political considerations, I shall understand and not take any serious retaliatory action.

3. Tell the President that I understand quite well how much political courage it took for President Kennedy to instruct you (Lisa Howard) and Ambassador Attwood to phone my aide in Havana for the purpose of commencing a dialogue toward a settlement of our differences. Ambassador Attwood suggested that I prepare an agenda for such talks and send the agenda to my U.N. Ambassador. That was on November 18th. The agenda was being prepared when word arrived that President Kennedy was assassinated. I hope that we can soon continue where Ambassador Attwood's phone conversation to Havana left off… though I'm aware that pre-electoral political considerations may delay this approach until after November.

4. Tell the President (and I cannot stress this too strongly) that I seriously hope that Cuba and the United states can eventually respect and negotiate our differences. I believe that there are no areas of contention between us that cannot be discussed and settled within a climate of mutual understanding. But first, of course, it is necessary to discuss our differences. I now believe that this hostility between Cuba and the United States is both unnatural and unnecessary - and it can be eliminated.

5. Tell the President he should not interpret my conciliatory attitude, my desire for discussions as a sign of weakness. Such an interpretation would be a serious miscalculation. We are not weak… the Revolution is strong… very strong. Nothing, absolutely nothing that the Untied States can do will destroy the Revolution. Yes, we are strong. And it is from this position of strength that we wish to resolve our differences with the United States and to live in peace with all the nations of the world.

6. Tell the president I realize fully the need for absolute secrecy, if he should decide to continue the Kennedy approach. I revealed nothing at that time… I have revealed nothing since… I would reveal nothing now.

The impact of present US policy is mainly negative: (a) It aggravates Castro's anti-Americanism and his desire to cause us trouble and embarrassment. (b) In the eyes of a world largely made up of small countries, it freezes us in the unattractive posture of a big country trying to bully a small country... It would seem that we have something to gain and nothing to lose by finding out whether in fact Castro does want to talk and what concessions he would be prepared to make.

Following is a chronology of events leading up to Castro’s invitation on October 31, to receive a U.S. official for talks in Cuba:

Soon after joining the U.S. Mission to the U.N. on August 26, I met Seydou Diallo, the Guinea Ambassador to Havana, whom I had known well in Conakray. [Attwood had been U.S. Ambassador to Guinea from March 1961 to May 1963].

He went out of his way to tell me that Castro was isolated from contact with neutralist diplomats by his “Communist entourage”….He, Diallo, had finally been able to see Castro alone once and was convinced he was personally receptive to changing courses and getting Cuba on the road to non-alignment….

In the first week of September, I also read ABC correspondent, Lisa Howard’s article, “Castro’s Overture,” [In War/Peace Report, September, 1963] based on her conversation with Castro last April. This article stressed Castro’s expressed desire for reaching an accommodation with the United States and a willingness to make substantial concessions to this end. On September 12, I talked with Miss Howard, whom I have known for some years, and she echoed Ambassador Diallo’s opinion that there was a rift between Castro and the Guevara-Hart-Alveida group on the question of Cuba’s future course.

On September 12, I discussed this with Under Secretary Harriman in Washington. He suggested I prepare a memo and we arranged to meet in New York the following week.

On September 18, I wrote a memorandum based on these talks and on corroborating information I had heard in Conakry…..

On September 23, I met Dr. Lechuga at Miss Howard’s apartment. She has been on good terms with Lechuga since her visit with Castro and invited him for a drink to met [sic] some friends who had also been to Cuba. I was just one of those friends. In the course of our conversation, which started with recollections of my own talks with Castro in 1959, I mentioned having read Miss Howard’s article. Lechuga hinted that Castro was indeed in a mood to talk. I told him that in my present position, I would need official authorization to make such a trip, and did not know if it would be forthcoming. However, I said an exchange of views might well be useful and that I would find out and let him know.

On September 24, I saw the Attorney-General in Washington, and gave him my September 18 memo, and reported my meeting with Lechuga. He said he would pass the memo on to Mr. McGeorge Bundy;…..

On September 27, I ran into Lechuga at the United Nations, where he was doing a television interview in the lobby with Miss Howard. I told him that I had discussed our talk in Washingon,….Meanwhile, he forewarned me that he would be making a ‘hard’ anti-U.S. speech in the United Nations on October 7.

On October 18, at dinner at the home of Mrs. Eugene Meyer, I talked with Mr. C.A. Doxiades, a noted Greek architect and town-planner, who had just returned from an architects congress in Havana, where he had talked alone to both Castro and Guevara, among others. He sought me out, as a government official, to say he was convinced Castro would welcome normalization of relations with the United States if he could do so without losing too much face….

On October 20, Miss Howard asked me if she might call Major Rene Vallejo, a Cuban surgeon who is also Castro’s current right-hand man and confidant. She said Vallejo helped her see Castro and made it plain to her he opposed the Guevara group. They became friends and talked on the phone several times since the interview….

On October 21, Gordon Chase called me from the White House in connection with my September 18 memo. I brought him up to date and said the ball was in his court.

On October 28, I ran into Lechuga in the U.N. Delegates Lounge….I said it was up to him and he could call me if he felt like it. He wrote down my extension.

On October 29, Vallejo again called Miss Howard at home…

On October 31, Vallejo called Miss Howard, apologizing for the delay and saying he had been out of town with Castro and “could not get to a phone from which I could call you.” He said Castro would very much like to talk to the U.S. official anytime and appreciated the importance of discretion to all concerned….

On November 1, Miss Howard reported the Vallejo call to me and I repeated it to Chase on November 4.

On November 5, I met with Bundy and Chase at the White House and informed them of the foregoing. The next day, Chase called and asked me to put it in writing.

If the CIA did find out what we were doing, this would have trickled down to the lower echelon of activists, and Cuban exiles, and the more gung-ho CIA people who had been involved since the Bay of Pigs. If word of a possible normalization of relations with Cuba leaked to these people, I can understand why they would have reacted so violently. This was the end of their dreams of returning to Cuba, and they might have been impelled to take violent action. Such as assassinating the President.

The CIA was reviving the assassination plots at the very time President Kennedy was considering the possibility of normalization of relations with Cuba - an extraordinary action. If it was not total incompetence - which in the case of the CIA cannot be excluded - it was a studied attempt to subvert national policy.... I think the CIA must have known about this initiative. They must certainly have realized that Bill Attwood and the Cuban representative to the U.N. were doing more than exchanging daiquiri recipes…They had all the wires tapped at the Cuban delegation to the United Nations….Undoubtedly if word leaked of President Kennedy’s efforts, that might have been exactly the kind of thing to trigger some explosion of fanatical violence. It seems to me a possibility not to be excluded.

Lisa Howard, 35, former American Broadcasting Company news commentator, died Sunday, apparently of an overdose of sleeping tablets she had just purchased. Police described the death as an apparent suicide and quoted members of her family as saying she had been despondent since losing her unborn child a few weeks ago.

Police found her dazed in the parking lot of a pharmacy where she had purchased the pills. She died shortly after reaching a hospital.

Miss Howard and her husband, Walter Lowendahl, resided in Manhattan and had a summer home here. She was a strikingly attractive blonde.

She joined the ABC news stuff in 1961 and obtained several exclusive interviews with Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro.

ABC suspended her during the 1964 political campaign, when she was conducting her own program, "Lisa Howard and News with the Woman's Touch". She filed a 2 million-dollar suit against ABC, claiming she was fired for endorsing the election of President Johnson and supporting former Senator Kenneth B. Keating, Republican - New York.

Police said a prescription Miss Howard obtained Saturday for 10 sleeping tablets had been altered to 100 before she had it filled Sunday at the pharmacy.

Police received a call that a woman was acting strangely in the pharmacy's parking lot. Patrolman William Brockman said he found Miss Howard dazed, glassy-eyed and almost incoherent.

Brockman found no pills, but said the lot would be searched.

The officer took Miss Howard to the East Hampton Medical Center. "She kept mumbling something about a miscarriage," he said. "She collapsed before we got her inside." The patrolman said she was given oxygen and a tracheotomy was performed but she did not respond.

Brockman said Dr. Mary Johnson, assistant Suffolk medical examiner, tentatively ruled the death suicide and planned an autopsy.

In February 1996, Robert Kennedy Jr. and his brother, Michael, traveled to Havana to meet with Fidel Castro. As a gesture of goodwill, they brought a file of formerly top secret US documents on the Kennedy administration's covert exploration of an accommodation with Cuba - a record of what might have been had not Lee Harvey Oswald, seemingly believing the president to be an implacable foe of Castro's Cuba, fired his fateful shots in Dallas. Castro thanked them for the file and shared his "impression that it was (President Kennedy's) intention after the missile crisis to change the framework" of relations between the United States and Cuba. "It's unfortunate," said Castro, that "things happened as they did, and he could not do what he wanted to do."

Would John F. Kennedy, had he lived, have been able to establish a modus vivendi with Fidel Castro? The question haunts almost 40 years of acrimonious U.S.-Cuba relations. In a Top Secret - Eyes Only memorandum written three days after the president's death, one of his White House aides, Gordon Chase, noted that "President Kennedy could have accommodated with Castro and gotten away with it with a minimum of domestic heat"--because of his track record "of being successfully nasty to Castro and the Communists" during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Castro and his advisers believed the same. A CIA intelligence report, based on a high-level Cuban source and written for National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy in 1964, noted that "Fidel Castro felt that it was possible that President Kennedy would have gone on ultimately to negotiate with Cuba... (as an) acceptance of a fait accompli for practical reasons."

The file on the Kennedy administration's "Cuban contacts" that Robert Jr. and Michael took to Cuba (declassified at the request of the author) sheds significant light on a story that has never been fully told - John Kennedy's secret pursuit of a rapprochement with Fidel Castro. Along with papers recently released pursuant to the Kennedy Assassination Records Act of 1992, the documents reveal the escalating efforts toward negotiations in 1963 that, if successful, might have changed the ensuing decades of perpetual hostility between Washington and Havana. Given the continuing state of tension with Castro's regime, this history carries an immediate relevance for present policy makers. Indeed, with the Clinton administration buffeted between increasingly vocal critics of U.S. policy toward Cuba and powerful proponents of the status quo, reconstructing the hitherto secret record of Kennedy's efforts in the fall of 1963 to advance "the rapprochement track" with Castro is more relevant than ever.

John F. Kennedy would seem the most unlikely of presidents to seek an accommodation with Fidel Castro. His tragically abbreviated administration bore responsibility for some of the most infamous U.S. efforts to roll back the Cuban revolution: the Bay of Pigs invasion, the trade embargo, Operation Mongoose (a U.S. plan to destabilize the Castro government) and a series of CIA-Mafia assassination attempts against the Cuban leader. Castro's demise, Seymour M. Hersh argues in his book, The Dark Side of Camelot, "became a presidential obsession" until the end. "The top priority in the United States government - all else is secondary - no time, money, effort, or manpower is to be spared" is to find a "solution" to the Cuba problem, Attorney General Robert Kennedy told a high-level group of CIA and Pentagon officials in early 1962. The president's opinion, according to CIA minutes of the meeting, was that "the final chapter (on Cuba) has not been written."

Unbeknownst to all but his brother and a handful of advisers, however, in 1963 John Kennedy began pursuing an alternative script on Cuba: a secret dialogue toward an actual rapprochement with Castro. To a policy built upon "overt and covert nastiness," as Top Secret White House memoranda characterized U.S. operations against Cuba, was added "the sweet approach," meaning the possibility of "quietly enticing Castro over to us." National Security Council officials referred to this multitrack policy as "simil-opting"--the use of disparate methods toward the goal of moving Cuba out of the Soviet orbit...

Which country initiated the secret dialogue in the fall of 1963 remains a subject of historical dispute. The feelers toward a rapprochement "originally came, one might say, from their side," testified William Attwood, the key U.S. official involved in the subsequent talks, in a top secret deposition in 1975. In an interview, Cuba's former ambassador to the United Nations, Carlos Lechuga, insisted that "this was a Kennedy initiative, not Cuba's."

A year later, Lisa Howard died under suspicious circumstances. Her death was attributed to suicide. Supposedly she took one hundred phenobarbitols at mid-day in a parking lot where she was found wandering in a daze. She had been fired because she had "chosen to participate publicly in partisan political activity contrary to long established established ABC news policy." Suspicions about her death"..... if ever substantiated.....would make her the second female news reporter (after Dorothy Kilgallen) whom assassination critics suspect was silenced because of her knowledge of the assassination."

Before her death, Lisa turned against Robert Kennedy, who was running for the U.S. Senate in New York. At a group meeting she organized with Gore Vidal in support of the incumbent Senator Keating, Bobby was described as " the very antithesis of his brother....ruthless, reactionary, and dangerously authoritarian." Explaining her reasons for forming the group she said, "if you feel strongly about something like this you can't remain silent. You have to show courage, and stand up and be counted." After ABC fired her she continued her "partisan political activity" remarking in a debate over Robert Kennedy that "Brothers are not necessarily the same....There was Cain and Abel." An interesting comparison.

In the wake of the Kennedy assassination there have been many more deaths than those of Mary Pinchot, Lisa Howard, and Dorothy Kilgallen. District Attorney Jim Garrison, of New Orleans, who investigated the Kennedy assassination said that "witnesses in this case do have a habit of dying at the most inconvenient times... a London insurance firm has prepared an acturial chart on the likelihood of 20 of the people involved in this case dying within 3 years of the assassination and found the odds 30 trillion to one.

There can be little doubt that the Kennedy assassination occurred because the young President's dream of peace. He had come to believe that his dream was possible and was killed because he took steps to bring it about.

It was March 1963, the height of the Cold War - a time of covert U.S. government assassination plots against Fidel Castro, Kennedy administration-sponsored exile raids and sabotage missions directed at Cuba.

It was also a time when Castro - still smarting from Moscow's failure to consult him about the withdrawal of missiles from the island in 1962 - was sending feelers to Washington about Cuba's interest in rapprochement.

President John F. Kennedy responded by overruling the State Department's position that Cuba break its ties with Soviet bloc nations as a precondition for talks on normal relations, according to an account to be published this week in the October issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine.

"The President himself is very interested in this one,'' says a March 1963 top-secret White House memo. ``The President does not agree that we should make the breaking of Sino-Soviet ties a non-negotiable point. We don't want to present Castro with a condition that he obviously cannot fulfill. We should start thinking along more flexible lines.''

The article, JFK and Castro: The Secret Quest for Accommodation, is based on recently declassified documents and written by Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst at the Washington-based National Security Archive, a nongovernmental research institute. It traces the secret U.S.-Cuban contacts during the last months of the Kennedy administration and into the Johnson administration.

Although the general outlines of the contacts have been known, the account adds considerable detail, particularly the key role played by the late ABC correspondent Lisa Howard, who interviewed Castro in April 1963.

In addition to Howard, key players were McGeorge Bundy, the Kennedy and Johnson administrations' national security advisor, his assistant Gordon Chase and William Attwood, former Look magazine editor who at the time was an advisor to the U.S. mission at the United Nations.

On the Cuban side, the principal players were Carlos Lechuga, Cuba's U.N. ambassador, and Rene Vallejo, Castro's personal physician.

Initial overtures from Castro to Washington in late 1962 had been made through New York lawyer James Donovan, who had been enlisted by the Kennedy administration to negotiate the release of Bay of Pigs prisoners.

Efforts at normalization languished, however, until the involvement of Howard and Attwood started to bear fruit in the latter part of 1963.

In September, Attwood was authorized to have direct contacts with Lechuga, which were arranged by Howard at a Sept. 23 reception in her New York apartment. Attwood was to subsequently confer with Vallejo by telephone from Howard's apartment or she would relay messages between the two.

At one point, Vallejo conveyed a message to Attwood through Howard that said, "Castro would like to talk to the U.S. official anytime and appreciates the importance of discretion to all concerned. Castro would therefore be willing to send a plane to Mexico to pick up the official and fly him to a private airport near Varadero where Castro would talk to him alone. The plane would fly him back immediately.''

The invitation touched off a debate within the White House, with President Kennedy's position being that "it did not seem practicable'' to send an American official to Cuba "at this stage.''

Even so, the contacts continued to gain momentum until Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, when the "Attwood-Lechuga tie line'' was put on hold, with White House aides concerned that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald's reported pro-Castro sympathies would make an accommodation more difficult.

The back-channel contacts continued under President Lyndon Johnson through 1964, according to Kornbluh, but fizzled out in late 1964 as the fall presidential elections approached, despite ongoing efforts by Howard to keep them alive.

In December 1964, Howard made her final and unsuccessful effort by trying to arrange a meeting in New York between U.S. officials and Ernesto "Che'' Guevara, the Argentine-born Cuban revolutionary.

A few days before his assassination, President Kennedy was planning a meeting with Cuban officials to negotiate the normalisation of relations with Fidel Castro, according to a newly declassified tape and White House documents.

The rapprochement was cut off in Dallas 40 years ago this week by Lee Harvey Oswald, who appears to have believed he was assassinating the president in the interests of the Cuban revolution.

But the new evidence suggests that Castro saw Kennedy's killing as a setback. He tried to restart a dialogue with the next administration, but Lyndon Johnson was at first too concerned about appearing soft on communism and later too distracted by Vietnam to respond.

A later attempt to restore normal relations by President Carter was defeated by a rightwing backlash, and since then any move towards lifting the Cuban trade embargo has been opposed by Cuban exile groups, who wield disproportionate political power from Florida.

Peter Kornbluh, a researcher at Washington's National Security Archives who has reviewed the new evidence, said: "It shows that the whole history of US-Cuban relations might have been quite different if Kennedy had not been assassinated."

Castro and Kennedy's tentative flirtation came at a time of extraordinary acrimony in the wake of US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles and the missile crisis which led the world to the brink of nuclear war.

It began with a secret and highly unorthodox dialogue conducted through an intrepid journalist and former soap-opera actor and involved plans to fly a US diplomat from Mexico to Cuba for a clandestine face-to-face meeting with Castro alone in an aircraft hangar.

On a newly declassified Oval Office audiotape, recorded only 17 days before the assassination, Kennedy can be heard discussing the option with his national security adviser, McGeorge Bundy.

The president agrees in principle to send an American diplomat, Bill Attwood, who had once interviewed Castro during a former career as a journalist, but he fretted that news of the secret mission would leak out. At one point Kennedy asks: "Can't we get Mr Attwood off the payroll?" If the diplomat was no longer on staff the whole trip would be deniable if it came to light.

Kennedy had been thinking about reopening relations with Havana since spring that year.

The key intermediary was Lisa Howard, an actor who had become a leading television journalist when she managed to land an interview with the Soviet leader, Nikita Krushchev.

In April 1963, she scored another coup - an interview with Castro, and returned with a message for the Kennedy administration, that the Cuban leader was anxious to talk. The message launched a frantic period of diplomacy, recounted in a television documentary broadcast last night on the Discovery Times channel, entitled "A President, A Revolutionary, A Reporter".

The president was receptive. The CIA was pursuing various schemes aimed at assassinating or undermining Castro, but Kennedy's aides were increasingly convinced Havana could be weaned away from Moscow.

In one memorandum a senior White House aide, Gordon Chase, says: "We have not yet looked seriously at the other side of the coin - quietly enticing Castro over to us," instead of looking at ways to hurt him.

According to Mr Bundy, Kennedy "was more in favour of pushing towards an opening toward Cuba than was the state department, the idea being... getting them out of the Soviet fold and perhaps wiping out the Bay of Pigs and getting back to normal".

The administration gave a nod to Ms Howard, who set up a chance meeting between Mr Attwood and the Cuban ambassador to the UN, Carlos Lechuga, at a cocktail party in her Park Avenue apartment.

The apartment then became a communications centre between Mr Attwood and the Castro regime. Castro's aide, Dr Rene Vallejo, called at pre-arranged times to talk to Mr Attwood, and in the autumn of 1963 suggested that Mr Attwood fly to Mexico from where he would be picked up by a plane sent by Castro. The plane would take him to a private airport near Veradero, Cuba, where the Cuban leader would talk to him alone in a hangar. He would be flown back after the talks.

Kennedy and Bundy discuss the plan on the tape on November 5. The national security adviser does much of the talking but the president is clearly worried that the trip will be leaked. First he suggests taking Mr Attwood off the state department payroll, but later he decided even that was too risky. Instead, he suggested Dr Vallejo fly to the UN for a confidential meeting to discuss the agenda of direct talks with Castro.

The plan, however, was sunk by the assassination. Ms Howard continued to bring messages back to Washington from Castro, in which the Cuban leader expresses his support for President Johnson's 1964 election and even offers to turn the other cheek if the new US leader wanted to indulge in some electoral Cuba-bashing. But the Johnson White House was far more cautious. The new president did not have the cold war credentials of having faced down the Soviet Union over the Cuban missile crisis. The moment had passed.

Lisa Howard had been waiting for more than two hours in a suite of the Hotel Riviera, enough time to bathe, dress and apply makeup, then take it all off to get ready for bed when she thought he wasn’t coming. But at 11:30 p.m. on that night in Havana - February 2, 1964 - Howard, an American correspondent with ABC News, finally heard a knock at the door. She opened it and saw the man she had been waiting for: Fidel Castro, the 37-year-old leader of the Cuban revolution and one of America’s leading Cold War antagonists.

“You may be the prime minister, but I’m a very important journalist. How dare you keep me waiting,” Howard declared with mock anger. She then invited Castro, accompanied by his top aide, René Vallejo, into her room.

Over the next few hours, they talked about everything from Marxist theory to the treatment of Cuba’s political prisoners. They reminisced about President John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated just a few months earlier. Castro told Howard about his trip to Russia the previous spring, and the “personal attention” he had received from the “brilliant” Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Howard admonished Castro for the repressive regime he was creating in Cuba. “To make an honorable revolution… you must give up the notion of wanting to be prime minister for as long as you live.” “Lisa,” Castro asked, “you really think I run a police state?” “Yes,” she answered. “I do.”

In the early morning hours, Howard asked Vallejo to leave. Finally alone with her, Castro slipped his arms around the American journalist, and the two lay on the bed, where, as Howard recalled in her diary, Castro “kissed and caressed me… expertly with restrained passion.”

“He talked on about wanting to have me,” Howard wrote, but “would not undress or go all the way.” “We like each other very much,” Castro told her, admitting he was having trouble finding the words to express his reluctance. “You have done much for us, you have written a lot, spoken a lot about us. But if we go to bed then it will be complicated and our relationship will be destroyed.”

He told her he would see her again - “and that it would come naturally.” Just before the sun rose over Havana, Castro tucked Howard in, turned out the lights and left.

Howard’s trip to Havana in the winter of 1964 was pivotal in advancing one of the most unusual and consequential partnerships in the history of U.S.-Cuban relations. She became Castro’s leading American confidant, as well as his covert interlocutor with the White House—the key link in a top-secret back channel she singlehandedly established between Washington and Havana to explore the possibility of rapprochement in the aftermath of the Cuban missile crisis. From mid-1963 to the end of 1964, Howard secretly relayed messages from Cuba’s revolutionary regime to the White House and back again; she also used her reporting skills and high-profile perch at ABC to publicly challenge the Cold War mind-set that Castro was an implacable foe of U.S. interests. Her role as peacemaker was built on a complex, little-understood personal rapport she managed to forge with Castro himself—a relationship that was political and personal, intellectual and intimate.

20 Photos Of Howard Stern’s Surprising Female Friends

People like Robin Quivers, his wife Beth Sorosky Stern, and others, have made Howard Stern the man he is today.

65-year-old shock jock Howard Stern has had one of the most successful careers in radio in the world. He’s been in the business for a long time (since 1975), and was once the most listened to person on the planet, basically. From 1986 to 2005, he gained popularity on his nationally syndicated radio show, before switching to SiriusXM Satellite Radio in 2006, and he hasn’t looked back since.

It’s important to mention that with that fame and popularity has come great wealth, to the tune of $650 million. Easily the most successful radio host of all time, Stern has a lot of people to thank for his success. But just as important as the business partners and male comedians, are the females who have helped shape him. He would be the first to admit that.

People like Robin Quivers, his wife Beth Sorosky Stern, and others, have made Howard Stern the man he is today. Here are 20 surprising pictures of Howard Stern with his female friends.

Lisa Howard Net Worth

Lisa Howard’s estimated Net Worth, monthly and yearly Salary, Primary Income source, Cars, Lifestyles & much more information have been updated below. Let’s check, How Rich was Lisa Howard in 2020?

According to Wikipedia, Google, Forbes, IMDb, and Various reliable Online resources, Lisa Howard’s estimated net worth was as under. You may check previous years’ net worth, salary & much more from below.


Henry Hill Jr. was born on June 11, 1943, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, to Henry Hill Sr., an Irish-American electrician and the son of a coal miner, [1] and Carmela Costa, an Italian immigrant of Sicilian descent. [1] The working-class family, consisting of Henry and his seven other siblings, grew up in Brownsville, a working-class neighborhood of Brooklyn. [2] Hill was dyslexic [3] and as a result performed poorly at school.

From an early age, Hill admired the local mobsters who socialized at a dispatch cabstand across the street from his home, including Paul Vario, a caporegime in the Lucchese crime family. [4] In 1955, when he was 11 years old, Hill wandered into the cabstand looking for a part-time after-school job. [5] In his early teens, Hill began running errands for patrons of Vario's storefront shoeshine, pizzeria, and cabstand. He first met the notorious hijacker and Lucchese family associate James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke in 1956. The 13-year-old Hill served drinks and sandwiches at a card game and was dazzled by Burke's openhanded tipping: "He was sawbucking me to death. Twenty here. Twenty there. He wasn't like anyone else I had ever met." [6]

The following year, Vario's younger brother, Vito "Tuddy" Vario, and Vario's son, Lenny Vario, presented Hill with a highly sought-after union card in the bricklayers' local. Hill would be a "no show" and put on a building contractor's construction payroll, guaranteeing him a weekly salary of $190 (equivalent to $1,750 in 2020). [7] This didn't mean Hill would be getting or keeping all that money every week, however he received a portion of it, and the rest was kept and divided among the Varios. The card also allowed Hill to facilitate the pickup of daily policy bets and loan payments to Vario from local construction sites. Once Hill had this "legitimate" job, he dropped out of high school and began working exclusively for the Vario gangsters. [8]

Hill's first encounter with arson occurred when a rival cabstand opened just around the corner from Vario's business. The competing company's owner was from Alabama, new to New York City. Sometime after midnight, Tuddy and Hill drove to the rival cabstand with a drum full of gasoline in the back seat of Tuddy's car. Hill smashed the cab windows and filled them with gasoline-soaked newspapers, then tossed in lit matchbooks. [9]

Hill was first arrested when he was 16 his arrest record is one of the few official documents that prove his existence. [10] Hill and Lenny, Vario's equally underage son, attempted to use a stolen credit card to buy snow tires for Tuddy's wife's car. When Hill and Lenny returned to Tuddy's, two police detectives apprehended Hill. During a rough interrogation, Hill gave his name and nothing else Vario's attorney later facilitated his release on bail. While a suspended sentence resulted, Hill's refusal to talk earned him the respect of both Vario and Burke. Burke, in particular, saw great potential in Hill. Like Burke, he was of Irish ancestry and therefore ineligible to become a "made man". The Vario crew, however, were happy to have associates of any ethnicity, so long as they made money and refused to cooperate with the authorities. [11]

In June 1960, at around 17 years old, Hill joined the United States Army, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He claimed the timing was deliberate the FBI's investigation into the 1957 Apalachin mob summit meeting had prompted a Senate investigation into organized crime, and its links with businesses and unions. This resulted in the publication of a list of nearly 5,000 names of members and associates of the five major crime families. Hill searched through a partial list but could not find Vario listed among the Lucchese family. [12]

Throughout his three-year enlistment, Hill maintained his mob contacts. He also continued to hustle: in charge of kitchen detail, he sold surplus food, loan sharked pay advances to fellow soldiers, and sold tax-free cigarettes. Before his discharge, Hill spent two months in the stockade for stealing a local sheriff's car and brawling in a bar with Marines and a civilian. In 1963, he returned to New York and began the most notorious phase of his criminal career: arson, intimidation, [13] running an organized stolen car ring, [14] and hijacking trucks. [15]

In 1965, Hill met his future wife, Karen Friedman, through Vario, who insisted that Hill accompany him on a double date at Frank "Frankie the Wop" Manzo's restaurant, Villa Capra. According to Friedman, the date was disastrous, and Hill stood her up at the next dinner date. Afterward, the two began going on dates at the Copacabana and other nightclubs, where Friedman was introduced to Hill's outwardly impressive lifestyle. The two later got married in a large North Carolina wedding, attended by most of Hill's gangster friends. [16] In 1994, Hill, in his book Gangsters and Goodfellas, stated that Tommy DeSimone tried to rape Karen. [17]

Shortly before midnight on April 6, 1967, Hill and DeSimone drove to the Air France cargo terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport with an empty suitcase, the largest Hill could find. Inside connection Robert McMahon said that the two should just walk in, as people often came to the terminal to pick up lost baggage. DeSimone and Hill entered the unsecured area unchallenged and unlocked the door with a duplicate key. Using a small flashlight, they loaded seven bags into the suitcase and left $420,000 was taken. No alarm was raised, no shots fired, and no one was injured. [6] The theft was not discovered until the following Monday, when a Wells Fargo truck arrived to pick up the cash to be delivered to the French American Banking Corporation. [18]

Hill believed that it was the Air France robbery that endeared him to the Mafia. [6]

Hill used his share of the robbery proceeds to purchase a restaurant on Queens Boulevard, The Suite, initially aiming to run it as a legitimate business and provide "distance" between himself and his mob associates. However, within several months, the nightclub had become another mob hangout. Hill later said that members of Lucchese and Gambino crews moved into the club en masse, including high-ranking Gambino family members who "were always there". [19]

According to the book Wiseguy, after William "Billy Batts" Bentvena was released from prison in 1970, a "welcome home" party was thrown for him at Robert's Lounge, which was owned by Burke. Hill stated that Bentvena saw DeSimone and jokingly asked him if he still shined shoes, which DeSimone perceived as an insult. DeSimone leaned over to Hill and Burke and said, "I'm gonna kill that fuck." [6] Two weeks later, on June 11, 1970, Bentvena was at The Suite near closing time when he was pistol-whipped by DeSimone. Hill said that before DeSimone started to beat Bentvena, DeSimone yelled, "Shine these fucking shoes!" [6]

After Bentvena was beaten and presumed killed, DeSimone, Burke, and Hill placed his body in the trunk of Hill's car for transport. They stopped at DeSimone's mother's house to fetch a shovel and lime. They started to hear sounds from the trunk, and when they realized that Bentvena was still alive, DeSimone and Burke stopped the car and beat him to death with the shovel and a tire iron. Burke had a friend who owned a dog kennel in Upstate New York, and Bentvena was buried there. [6]

About three months after Bentvena's murder, Burke's friend sold the dog kennel to housing developers, and Burke ordered Hill and DeSimone to exhume Bentvena's corpse and dispose of it elsewhere. [6] In Wiseguy, Hill said the body was eventually crushed in a car crusher at a New Jersey junkyard, which was owned by Clyde Brooks. However, on the commentary for the film Goodfellas, he states that Bentvena's body was buried in the basement of Robert's Lounge, a bar and restaurant owned by Burke, and only later was put into the car crusher.

In November 1972, Burke and Hill were arrested for beating Gaspar Ciaccio in Tampa, Florida. Ciaccio allegedly owed a large gambling debt to their friend, union boss Casey Rosado. They were convicted of extortion and sentenced to ten years at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg. [20] [21] Hill was imprisoned with Vario, who was serving a sentence for tax evasion, and several members of John Gotti's Gambino crew. In Lewisburg, Hill met a man from Pittsburgh who, for a fee, taught Hill how to smuggle drugs into the prison.

On July 12, 1978, Hill was paroled after four years and resumed his criminal career. He began trafficking in drugs, which Burke eventually became involved with, even though the Lucchese crime family, with whom they were associated, did not authorize any of its members to deal drugs. This Lucchese ban was enacted because the prison sentences imposed on anyone convicted of drug trafficking were so lengthy that the accused would often become informants in exchange for a lesser sentence. [22]

Hill began wholesaling marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and quaaludes based on connections he made in prison he earned enormous amounts of money. A young kid who was a mule of Hill's "ratted" him out to Narcotics Detectives Daniel Mann and William Broder. "The Youngster" (so named by the detectives) informed them that Hill was connected to the Lucchese family and was a close friend to Vario and to Burke and "had probably been in on the Lufthansa robbery". Knowing of Hill's exploits, the detectives put surveillance on him. They found out that Hill's old prison friend from Pittsburgh ran a dog-grooming salon as a front. Mann and Broder had "thousands" of wiretaps of Hill, but Hill and his crew used coded language in the conversations. Hill's wiretap on March 29 is an example of the bizarre vocabulary:

Pittsburgh Connection: You know the golf club and the dogs you gave me in return?
Hill: Yeah.
Pittsburgh Connection: Can you still do that?
Hill: Same kind of golf clubs?
Pittsburgh Connection: No. No golf clubs. Can you still give me the dogs if I can pay for the golf clubs?
Hill: Yeah. Sure.
[portion of conversation omitted]
Pittsburgh Connection: You front me the shampoo and I'll front you the dog pills. . what time tomorrow?
Hill: Anytime after twelve.
Pittsburgh Connection: You won't hold my lady friend up?
Hill: No.
Pittsburgh Connection: Somebody will just exchange dogs. [23]

On December 11, 1978, an estimated $5.875 million (equivalent to $23.3 million in 2020) was stolen from the Lufthansa cargo terminal at Kennedy airport, with $5 million in cash and $875,000 in jewelry, making it the largest cash robbery committed on American soil at the time. [24] The plot had begun when bookmaker Martin Krugman told Hill that Lufthansa flew in currency to its cargo terminal at the airport Burke set the plan in motion. Hill did not directly take part in the heist. [6]

Hill and two Pittsburgh gamblers set up the 1978–79 Boston College basketball point-shaving scheme by convincing Boston College center Rick Kuhn to participate. Kuhn, who was a high school friend of one of the gamblers, encouraged teammates to participate in the scheme. [25]

Hill also claimed to have an NBA referee in his pocket who worked games at Madison Square Garden during the 1970s. The referee had incurred gambling debts on horse races. [26]

In 1980, Hill was arrested on a narcotics-trafficking charge. [19] He became convinced that his former associates planned to have him killed: Vario, for dealing drugs and Burke, to prevent Hill from implicating him in the Lufthansa heist. Hill heard on a wiretap that his associates Angelo Sepe and Anthony Stabile were anxious to have him killed, and that they were telling Burke that Hill "is no good" and "is a junkie". Burke told them "not to worry about it". Hill was more convinced by a surveillance tape played to him by federal investigators, in which Burke tells Vario of their need to have Hill "whacked." [26]

When Hill was finally released on bail, Burke told him they should meet at a bar, which Hill had never heard of or seen before, owned by "Charlie the Jap.” However, Hill never met Burke there instead they met at Burke's sweatshop with Karen and asked for the address in Florida where Hill was to kill Bobby Germaine's son with Anthony Stabile. Hill knew he would be murdered if he went to Florida. [19]

Edward McDonald, the head of the Brooklyn Organized Crime Strike Force, arrested Hill as a material witness in the Lufthansa robbery. [19] With a long sentence hanging over him, Hill agreed to become an informant and signed an agreement with the Strike Force on May 27, 1980. [27]

Hill testified against his former associates to avoid impending prosecution and being murdered by his crew. His testimony led to 50 convictions. [2] Hill, his wife Karen, and their two children (Gregg and Gina) [28] entered the U.S. Marshals' Witness Protection Program in 1980, changed their names, and moved around to several undisclosed locations including Seattle, Washington Cincinnati, Ohio Omaha, Nebraska Butte, Montana and Independence, Kentucky. [29]

Jimmy Burke was given 12 years in prison for the 1978–79 Boston College point-shaving scandal, involving fixing Boston College basketball games. Burke was also later sentenced to life in prison for the murder of scam artist Richard Eaton. [30] Burke died of cancer while serving his life sentence, on April 13, 1996, at the age of 64. [31] [32]

Paul Vario received four years for helping Henry Hill obtain a no-show job to get him paroled from prison. Vario was also later sentenced to ten years in prison for the extortion of air freight companies at JFK Airport. He died of respiratory failure on November 22, 1988, at age 73 while incarcerated in the FCI Federal Prison in Fort Worth. [33]

Hill's subsequent arrests and divorce Edit

In 1987, Hill was convicted of cocaine trafficking in a federal court in Seattle and expelled from the witness protection program. [34] [29] [35] In 1990, his wife Karen filed for divorce after 23 years of marriage. The divorce was finalized in 2002. [ citation needed ]

In August 2004, Hill was arrested in North Platte, Nebraska at North Platte Regional Airport after he had left his luggage containing drug paraphernalia. On September 26, 2005, he was sentenced to 180 days' imprisonment for attempted methamphetamine possession. [36]

Hill was sentenced to two years of probation on March 26, 2009, after he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of public intoxication. [37] On December 14, 2009, he was arrested in Fairview Heights, Illinois, for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, which Hill attributed to his drinking problems. [38]

In his later years, after his first divorce, he married Kelly Alor, [2] followed by his fiancée, Lisa Caserta. They lived in Topanga Canyon, near Malibu, California. Both appeared in several documentaries and made public appearances on various media programs including The Howard Stern Show. [39] Hill fathered a third child during this time. [40]

Goodfellas film Edit

Goodfellas, the 1990 Martin Scorsese-directed crime film adaptation of the 1985 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, follows the 1955 to 1980 rise and fall of Hill and his Lucchese crime family associates. Hill was portrayed by Ray Liotta. Scorsese initially named the film Wise Guy but subsequently, with Pileggi's agreement, changed the name to Goodfellas to avoid confusion with the unrelated television crime drama Wiseguy. [41] Two weeks in advance of the filming, Hill was paid $480,000. [42] Robert De Niro, who portrayed Jimmy Burke, often called Hill several times a day to ask how Burke walked, held his cigarette, and so on. [43] [44] Driving to and from the set, Liotta listened to FBI audio cassette tapes of Hill, so he could practice speaking like his real-life counterpart. [44] The cast did not meet Hill until a few weeks before the film's premiere. Liotta met him in an undisclosed city Hill had seen the film and told the actor that he loved it. [45]

Other media appearances and activity Edit

The 1990 film My Blue Heaven was based on Hill's life, with the screenplay written by Pileggi's wife Nora Ephron. [46]

The 2001 TV film The Big Heist was based on the Lufthansa heist, and Hill was portrayed by Nick Sandow.

In 2004, Hill was interviewed by Charlie Rose for 60 Minutes. [47] July 24, 2010 marked the twentieth anniversary of the release of Goodfellas. This milestone was celebrated with a private screening hosted by Hill for a select group of invitees at the Museum of the American Gangster. [48] On June 8, 2011, a show about Hill's life aired on the National Geographic Channel's Locked Up Abroad.

In 2006, Hill and Ray Liotta appeared in a photo shoot for Entertainment Weekly. At Liotta's urging, Hill entered alcohol rehabilitation two days after the session shoot. [49]

In reference to his many victims, Hill stated in an interview in March 2008, with the BBC's Heather Alexander: "I don't give a heck what those people think I'm doing the right thing now", addressing the reporter's question about how his victims might think of his commercialization of his story through self-written books and advising on Goodfellas. [50]

In 2008, Hill was featured in episode three of the crime documentary series The Irish Mob. In the episode, Hill recounts his life of crime, as well as his close relationship with Jimmy Burke and the illegal activity the two engaged in together. A large portion of the segment focuses on Burke's and Hill's involvements in the famous Lufthansa heist.

In August 2011, Hill appeared in the special "Mob Week" on AMC he and other former mob members talked about The Godfather, Goodfellas, and other such mob films. [51]

In 2014, the ESPN-produced 30 for 30 series debuted Playing for the Mob, [52] the story about how Hill and his Pittsburgh associates, and several Boston College basketball players, committed the point-shaving scandal during the 1978–79 season, an episode briefly mentioned in the movie. The documentary, narrated by Liotta, was set up so that the viewer needed to watch the film beforehand, to understand many of the references in the story.

Books Edit

In October 2002, Hill published The Wiseguy Cookbook: My Favorite Recipes From My Life As a Goodfella To Cooking On the Run. In it, Hill shared some stories throughout his childhood, life in the mob, and running from the law. He also presents recipes he learned from his family, during his years in the mob, and some that he came up with himself. For example, Hill claimed his last meal the day he was busted for drugs consisted of rolled veal cutlets, sauce with pork butt, veal shanks, ziti, and green beans with olive oil and garlic. [53]

In 2012, Henry Hill collaborated with the author, Daniel Simone, in writing and developing a non-fiction book titled, The Lufthansa Heist, [54] a portrayal of the famous 1978 Lufthansa Airline robbery at Kennedy Airport. The book was published in August 2015.

Other books by Hill include:

  • Hill, Henry Bryon Schreckengost (2003). A Goodfella's Guide to New York: Your Personal Tour Through the Mob's Notorious Haunts, Hair-Raising Crime Scenes, and Infamous Hot Spots. Three Rivers Press. ISBN0-7615-1538-0 .
  • Hill, Henry Gus Russo (2004). Gangsters and Goodfellas: Wiseguys, Witness Protection, and Life on the Run. M. Evans and Company, Inc. ISBN1-56731-757-X .

Restaurants Edit

Hill worked for a time as a chef at an Italian restaurant in North Platte, Nebraska, and his spaghetti sauce, Sunday Gravy, was marketed over the internet. [55] Hill opened another restaurant, Wiseguys, in West Haven, Connecticut, in October 2007, which closed the following month after a fire. [56]

Hill died of complications related to heart disease in a Los Angeles hospital, on June 12, 2012, after a long battle with his illness, a day after his 69th birthday. His girlfriend for the last six years of his life, Lisa Caserta, [57] said, "He had been sick for a long time. . his heart gave out". CBS News aired Caserta's report of Hill's death, during which she stated: "he went out pretty peacefully, for a goodfella." She said Hill had recently suffered a heart attack before his death and died of complications after a long history of heart problems associated with smoking. Hill's family was present when he died. [29]

Ray Liotta, who portrayed Hill in Goodfellas, stated on Hill's death: "Although I played Henry Hill in the movie Goodfellas, I only met him a few short times so I can't say I knew him but I do know he lived a complicated life." [58] Hill was cremated the day after his death.

Howard History

In 1867, the Society for the Improvement of Morals of the People of African Descent started to educate the Black children of the community. This action led to the birth of Howard High School . It was then just a small five-room building located at Twelfth and Orange Streets with a few students and teachers and the principal, Miss Sallied Miller.

The school was named in honor of General Oliver Otis Howard. In the years immediately following the Civil War, he was a national leader in the work of the Freedman's Bureau, which sought to improve Black education throughout America. General Howard was the father of the late Mrs. Joseph Bancroft of Wilmington.

In 1871, Miss Edwina B. Kruse became principal and continued in this service for fifty-one years. Two years later, the school came under the control of the City Board of Education and was known as School 16. The records show that there were four teachers: Annie D. Evans, Nellie Graves, Susan Goodwin and Arean Ruffin.

As the years passed, new rooms were added to the old building and new teachers were hired as the enrollment increased. Eventually, the Howard School was serving the needs of Black children from kindergarten through high school.

In 1922, Mr. H. Ray Wooten became principal and served for two years.

In 1924, Mr. George A. Johnson began his thirty-five-year tenure as principal. Both Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Nellie B. Taylor, vice principal, served on the staff of the old school. Mrs. Taylor, whose name will be forever linked with Howard High School, began teaching mathematics in 1919. Another beloved member of the early faculty was Mrs. Alice Dunbar Nelson, who was once the wife of the well-known poet, Mr. Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Howard was completed and occupied in 1928. Given through the generosity of Pierre S. duPont, the building overlooked the historic Brandywine. It housed 27 teachers and 476 pupils in grades seven through twelve. It included 23 rooms, six shops, two home making rooms, a health suite, a soundproof music room, cafeteria, and faculty dining room. In 1930, Howard became accredited by the Middle States Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges, and has maintained this status throughout the years.

In 1941, the Carver Vocational School was established to teach trades and skills to Black students. The school was located on French Street between Fifth and Sixth, in honor of George Washington Carver, a renowned scientist. Therefore, because of the increased demands, the vocational department at Howard was moved to Carver.

In 1952, to meet the continuous needs of the school community, the Board of Education appropriated funds for additional building and facilities for carrying on a comprehensive program. A year later, the Carver School closed. The vocational students returned to Howard and the Junior High School 860 pupils moved to its present Bancroft location.

When Mr. Johnson retired in 1959, Dr. LeRoy M. Christopher became Howard's principal and remained in that position until 1970 when he became Director of the Howard Educational Park, a proposed multi-million dollar expansion of the present Howard campus for which ground was broken in November 1972.

Mr. Robert M. Pearcy was appointed principal in 1970. He served in this capacity until 1973. During this period, the ninth grade returned to Howard providing an enrollment of 550 students and a faculty of 43 teachers.

In 1973 Mr. C. Charles Carmichael was appointed principal and served for one year.

On September 4, 1974, Howard opened its doors for the school year 1974-75, with the youngest principal in its 40-year history, Mr. Quinton F. Sterling. Mr. Sterling, a Howard graduate of the Class of 1956, was at the helm of 742 students and a faculty of 45.

In September 1975, many changes took place at the Howard complex. Mr. Sanford Pariser became the principal. Mr. Pariser was certified as a vocational principal. At that time, the Howard Comprehensive High School became the Howard Career Center, and in essence, became a truly vocational high school. Portions of the building were occupied at different times during the 1975-76 school year. In February, the final move was made into the "Gymnasium" and the total educational program was now located in the new building.

In September 1976, Mr. John E. Pickett became the acting principal and was appointed permanently in February 1977. The new year began with approximately 900 students and 27 foil-time shop programs. Students from the suburbs were attracted to Howard, and it became a school that would serve the needs of students from the entire New Castle County.

On July 1, 1978 , House Bill 22, passed by both Houses of the General Assembly and signed by the Governor, became effective immediately. On that date the Howard Career Center became a member of the countrywide vocational system under the control of the New Castle County Vocational-Technical School District.

With the incorporation of Howard Career Center into the New Castle County Vocational- Technical School District in 1978, five principals followed.

Dr. Joseph F. Mozzani was appointed principal of Howard Career Center in July 1980. In the school year 1983-84, Mr. Joseph Ambrosino became principal and served until July 1984. Mr. Gordon B. Saunders succeeded Mr. Ambrosino. He served as principal until June 1990, when Mr. Henry A. Stenta, Jr. succeeded Mr. Sanders.

The late Dr. Henry A. Stenta, Principal of Howard High School of Technology from 1989-1999, was recognized as an innovative educator and visionary. Through an endowment that he created, a resource center was developed to provide professional development, school-to-work career experiences and post secondary research opportunities for students.

This center that opened in September 1999 is also used for staff in-service, student clubs and organizations activities, PTSA meetings and to host the educational organizations that come to visit Howard High School of Technology.

The Dr. Henry A. Stenta Career Development Center has a volunteer Board of Directors, consisting of business industry representatives, educators and family of our late Principal. Howard is very proud to be the first school in Delaware to have a facility like this and believes that this will be a model for high schools throughout the nation.

One of the last major accomplishments under the Wilmington Board of Education was a $400,000 EDA grant that permitted the updating of three major areas in the Howard complex.

1. The Howard High School Auditorium and Music Area,
dedicated in honor of George A. Johnson.

2. The former Howard High School library renamed "The Memorabilia Room" in honor of Miss Pauline A. Young.

3. The gymnasium in the Howard Career Center dedicated in memory of Arthur E. Wheeler, Sr., and
Millard A. Naylor.

Today, under the leadership of Mrs. Joyce A. Ayres, the student body at Howard, is divided between college preparatory, business, vocational, and technical areas. Many Howard graduates have taken prominent places in the community, in the professions, and in business. Others have attained professional standing in colleges and universities throughout the country.

During Mrs. Ayres' time as principal, Howard has received many awards. It has been recognized as a Delaware Blue Ribbon School in 1997 and 1999. It has been named a National Service Learning Leader School since 2000. Mrs. Ayres was named the Principal of the Year in 2001. Howard continues to grow.

For all those who once walked through Howard's halls, the remembrances of Howard and the part it player for over a century in educating the Black Community of Wilmington will always remain. Howard has a rich, proud heritage that will be admired for centuries to come.

It's time to revisit Ted Kennedy's legacy in #MeToo era

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A sleepy, tree-lined street in the shadow of the University of Michigan features rows of well-appointed homes, scampering children and even a cultural arts center offering yoga classes several times a week.

Nestled in the suburban enclave of North Burns Park, it looks like any well-to-do boulevard in America.

But it’s here where one of the most tragic figures in our country’s modern history resides — Lisa Bessette, who lost her twin, Lauren, and sibling Carolyn on a doomed flight piloted by John F. Kennedy Jr. 20 years ago, leaving her the lone surviving sister.

“I can imagine that this anniversary with everything happening is a really difficult time for her,” a Bessette acquaintance told The Post, recalling the awful events of July 16, 1999. “She was devastated.”

That fateful evening, the Kennedy scion plunged his Piper Saratoga II into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. Investigators and experts later cited JFK Jr.’s inexperience and “spatial disorientation” as the cause of the crash.

The tragedy drove Lisa into a life off the grid. Even after settling in Ann Arbor, she kept her circle of friends and acquaintances small. She has no known social media accounts and even recent images of her are nearly impossible to find.

John F. Kennedy Jr. gives his wife, Carolyn, a kiss on the cheek during the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner on May 1, 1999. Getty Images

Today, she lives a quiet existence in the college town, occasionally working part-time at the University of Michigan Art Museum as a “contract editor.”

“She had a really hard time when they passed away and was strong for her mother and her family and has since decided that she doesn’t want to be in any way public,” said the acquaintance.

On the day of the tragedy, John Jr. and Carolyn were flying to the wedding of his cousin Rory Kennedy in Hyannis Port along with Lauren. (Lisa was studying abroad at the time, and Lauren was going to be dropped off at Martha’s Vineyard.)

Rush-hour traffic delayed their takeoff, forcing Kennedy to fly during more dangerous nighttime conditions, even though he was only authorized to pilot the plane using visual cues, not instruments. They went down in the waters off Martha’s Vineyard at 9:40 p.m. All three were killed instantly, although it took five days to find the bodies, still strapped into their seats.

New York Post front page July 1999. John Kennedy and wife Carolyn Bessette killed in plane crash.

The death symbolized the final end of Camelot, the toddler seen saluting his own father’s coffin now himself felled by tragedy.

He “seemed to belong not only to our family, but to the American family. The whole world knew his name before he did,” his uncle Sen. Edward Kennedy said during a memorial service for the couple at the Church of St. Thomas on the Upper East Side.

Some 350 mourners were there that day to pay their final respects, including President Bill Clinton, Muhammad Ali and John’s sister, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg.

Though Lisa and her parents and stepfather all attended the service, the Kennedy-Bessette relationship descended into acrimony not long after.

“The family was never comfortable with the marriage. Their mom at the wedding the night before gave a toast where she essentially said she didn’t think this was the right marriage for her daughter,” Steven M. Gillon, a historian and author of “America’s Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr.,” a new biography, told The Post. “Then of course their worst fears were realized.”

Lisa’s surviving family reaped a bitter windfall in 2001 after settling a wrongful-death claim for a reported $15 million. While the exact details still remain a mystery, The Post reported at the time that the sum would be paid from Kennedy’s estate, which was left to his sister, Caroline, and a trust dedicated to other friends and family.

After that, the surviving family made a conscious decision to disappear.

“We never cooperate with the media, no interviews, no questions, and that is still our position,” Lisa’s stepfather, Richard Freeman, now 88, told The Post.

Lisa Ann Bessette was born on Nov. 5, 1964, in White Plains, NY, the daughter of Ann Messina Freeman, a teacher, and William Bessette, who worked at the kitchen design firm TNT distributors. William exited the picture amid a nasty divorce shortly after the girls were born. Lisa’s mother married Richard Freeman, a prominent orthopedic surgeon. The family relocated to Greenwich, Conn.

When her younger sister, Carolyn, got hitched to John Jr. during a small and secretive ceremony on Georgia’s Cumberland Island in 1996, Lisa was there too. She “was very close to both of her sisters,” said the acquaintance.

At the time of the crash in 1999, Lisa was in Munich working on a doctorate in Renaissance studies for the University of Michigan. She completed her academic work in 2005. Though she never married, she eventually began a relationship with Howard Lay, a popular professor in the art history department 11 years her senior.

This is a view of the neighborhood where Lisa Bessette now lives. Elaine Cromie

The pair won’t be in Michigan for the 20th anniversary of the Kennedy crash on Tuesday, but instead in Paris, where Lay teaches a six-week summer course called “Paris by Site.”

Even abroad, however, Lisa is a spectral presence.

“She’s here in Paris with him,” said 20-year-old Michelle Ding, who is taking the course, adding that she’s never seen her. “She hasn’t come to my classes. But he speaks of her a lot.”

In her more than 500-page dissertation on “the visualization of the contents of the psalms in the early Middle Ages,” Lisa offered a debt of gratitude to friends and colleagues who helped her past her grief. There was also a cryptic note for the man who would become her life partner.

“A number of people, though they may not have contributed directly to the project, were essential to its completion, having seen me through six very difficult years,” she wrote in her thesis acknowledgments.

“Finally I would like to express my appreciation to Howard Lay for patiently accepting what he could not understand.”

Lay did not respond to multiple emails from The Post. Reps for Lisa at the university declined to offer anything beyond confirming her occasional employment at the school art museum.

Lisa’s mother, Ann, 79, still married to Richard Freeman, declined to comment. Lisa’s father, William Bessette, 81, also did not respond to several calls.

Among her intimates, Lisa’s privacy is guarded with near-religious zeal. Multiple staff and faculty members at the University of Michigan reacted with visible hostility to inquiries.

“Are you a journalist? I can’t talk to you. You’ll get the same answer from everyone in the department,” Professor Achim Timmermann told The Post. Another faculty member threatened to call campus police if questions to staffers about Lisa continued.

Her home with Howard, a five-bedroom, ivy-adorned residence, is a picture of suburbia. A Volkswagen Golf and Mini Cooper were parked in the driveway. A bird feeder sat empty. The shades were drawn. A cat perched on the windowsill. Shrubs and bushes were manicured.

Over the years, Lisa has also gone to great lengths to keep her past hidden from newer friends and relations. Most neighbors interviewed by The Post were unaware of her family tragedy.

“I house-sit for them in the summer and she’s never breathed a word about it to me,” said a woman named Martha who answered the door to their home.


If you’re reading this blog, you may be aware of the Robert E. Howard United Press Association or REHupa (pronounced “ray-hoop-uh”), an amateur press association that is focused on Howard and his writing. If you’re not, REHupa is a bunch of people who occasionally send in 35 or so copies of a fanzine that they have produced to an “editor.” The editor combines all the ‘zines into mailings and sends them back out to the members so that everyone gets a copy of everyone else’s work. There are only ever 30 members. Most of the people associated with Howard fandom have appeared in REHupa over the years—from biographers to publishers, artists and scholars, and even people like me.

A single REHupa mailing will cover a wide range of topics the quality of individual contributions to a mailing swings dramatically from the outstanding to the abysmal. Some people use their ‘zine as a proving ground for essays, some submit (usually) horrid fan-fiction. There can be articles about comic books, board games, video games, biography, Weird Tales, trip reports, pulp magazines, Texas, H. P. Lovecraft, genealogy, literary criticism, bibliography, lists, and more—all in a single mailing, and all subject to varying degrees of proofreading. The only requirement is that the subject matter should be at the very least tangentially related to Robert E. Howard. Some people really stretch that point.

Anyway, I’ve been a member since 2004 and have now “published” 78 issues of my ‘zine, Onion Tops (more if you count a Special Edition I submitted back in 2005). Over the years, especially at Howard Days in June, I’ve heard a lot of fans complain about not being able to read the mailings. As I mentioned above, part of the reason they aren’t available is that these aren’t, generally, finished products they are first drafts looking for peer review or the inklings of ideas that need a lot of work. And sometimes a ‘zine is just a person ranting about the latest Conan movie—who wants to have that out in the world? True, there are the occasional gems—like an obscure Howard mention, or a draft chapter for a Howard biography—but overall, if you’re not on the mailing list, you’re not missing much.

Lisa, her parents and stepfather all attended the service for JFK Jr. and Carolyn but not long after, the relationship between the two families disintigrated. Steven Gillion, the auther of America's Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr. told the New York Post that the Bessette family was never comfortable with the marriage.

He said: Their mom at the wedding the night before gave a toast where she essentially said she didn’t think this was the right marriage for her daughter. ” After the crash, things quickly went sour between the two families. According to E! News, the diaries of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. revealed that members of the Kennedy family told Carolyn and Lauren's mother Ann Freeman that John would be buried in the family plot in Brookline, Massachusetts. They were allegedy told "they could do with Carolyn as they pleased." Reports claim that Ann Freeman was (and likely still is) so upset about her daughters' deaths that she wouldn't even say JFK Jr.'s name.

Black History Month Founder Features: Lisa Gelobter 󈨟, Ayanna Howard ’93, Brickson Diamond 󈨡, & Kerlyne Jean-Baptiste 󈧔

We are kicking off our first black history month founder feature with Lisa Gelobter 󈨟 founder and CEO of tEQuitable, an independent, confidential platform to address issues of bias, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace. Back in April 2018, Brown University invited her to speak on behalf of the “Thinking Out Loud” speaker series, which showcases profoundly creative and accomplished scholars who not only tackle some of the biggest “Big Questions” there are, but also skillfully communicate their inner visions to broad audiences. Watch the video here . With 25 years in the industry and products that have been used by billions of people, Lisa has a deep and proven track record in software. She has worked on several pioneering Internet technologies, including Shockwave, Hulu, and the ascent of online video. Lisa’s experience ranges from small, entrepreneurial startups to large, established organizations. Most recently, she worked at the White House, in the U.S. Digital Service, serving as the Chief Digital Service Officer for the Department of Education. Previously, Lisa acted as the Chief Digital Officer for BET Networks and was a member of the senior management team for the launch of Hulu. She has an expansive background in strategy development, business operations, user-centered design, product management, and engineering.

Fun Fact: Lisa is also the computer scientist who developed the animation used to create GIFs, forever changing the way we text and tweet. She’s also responsible for Shockwave and was even a member of the senior management team for the launch of Hulu.

Ayanna Howard ’93

Ayanna Howard is a roboticist and professor at Georgia Tech where she is the director of the Human-Automation Systems lab. Her research specialties include human-robot interaction, assistive robots in the home, therapy gaming apps, and remote robotic exploration of extreme environments. It’s no surprise that she was recognized as one of “The Most Powerful Women Engineers” by Business Insider. Among all of this, she founded Zyrobotics , an award-winning educational technology company that makes STEM learning accessible to all children.

Ayanna was a part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast this past January which you can watch here .

Brickson Diamond 󈨡

Brickson Diamond is the CEO of Big Answers, LLC, which consults on diversity and inclusion strategy for clients in entertainment, technology and asset management, generating new partnerships and leveraging impactful connections. He previously served for five years as COO of The Executive Leadership Council, the preeminent member organization of Black executives in the Fortune 1000. Brickson is also a co-founder and chair of The Blackhouse Foundation, which provides pathways for Black multi-platform content creators into career opportunities within film, television, digital and emerging platforms. In addition to everything else, Brickson is a Brown University trustee who has worked on several aspects of the DIAP (Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan) for the University.

Kerlyne Jean-Baptiste 󈧔

History & facts: What you need to know about Ellicott City

Ellicott City was battered by intense rain and flooding Saturday evening in a storm that killed two people and caused massive destruction in the downtown district. Before the city in Howard County, Maryland received national attention for its weather-related tragedy, tourists and history buffs recognized it as a go-to place for small-town charm.

The unincorporated community lies on the west bank of the Patapsco River and around 10 miles from metropolitan Baltimore. The community of more than 65,000 people features historic railroad and building tours, a variety of restaurants and small businesses.

Here are some other key facts about the place with the "Charming Historic American Main Street."

  • Pronunciation: Ellicott (ELL-eh-kit) City
  • Population: 65,834, according to the 2010 U.S. Census
  • Ellicott City was named a top place to live by CNN Money in 2010 and Money Magazine in 2006.
  • The community was established by the milling industry in the late 1700s. Quaker brothers Joseph, Andrew and John Ellicott founded Ellicott's Mills after purchasing land west of Baltimore in 1772, according to a 1865 historical account by Martha Ellicott Tyson. The mills ground wheat and other grains after the brothers persuaded local farmers not to plant tobacco.
  • Settlers called the area "The Hollow" for the valley characterized by steep hills, according to Ellicott Tyson.
  • The Wilkins-Rogers plant produces Washington brand flour on the original Ellicott mill site. The plant is the only remaining grist mill in Maryland, according to Howard County tourism.
  • The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum has a historic station in the city. The museum, located in Baltimore, features "the oldest, most comprehensive American railroad collection in the world," according to the site's webpage. The Ellicott City location is the oldest U.S. station, featuring a depot built in 1831.
  • A coal train derailed in the community in 2012, killing two women that were sitting on the bridge that carried the tracks over Main Street along the Patapsco River. A broken rail was blamed for the incident.
  • The city is home to Banneker Historical Park, a 142-acre park and museum dedicated to Benjamin Banneker who was a leading African American scientist during the late 1700s the Ellicott City Colored School, the first school built with public funds in Howard County for students of color and the Elkridge Furnace Inn, a stop on the Underground Railroad.
  • Banneker and Andrew Ellicott were chosen to survey the boundaries of the new U.S. capital in Washington D.C. in 1791.
  • Lew Wallace, a general for the Union army, rested in Ellicott City during the Civil War, according to Howard County. Wallace is known for writing "Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ" in 1880.
  • The flooding on Saturday was the worst since Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972, residents said. The community is prone to flooding with its close proximity to the river and steep granite rock formations.
  • A wooden post beneath the bridge carrying motorists over the Patapsco River is dotted with markers noting the highest recorded crests on the river.

Baltimore Sun reporter Kevin Rector contributed to this article.

Watch the video: Fidel Castros famous interview with Lisa Howard (May 2022).