Rediscovered Mementos From Macon's Rufus Youngblood Inspires A New Edition Of His Memoir

Born in Macon, Georgia, in 1924, Rufus Wayne Youngblood is best known as the U.S. Secret Service agent who shielded Vice President Johnson during the tragic Kennedy assassination.  After his enlistment in the U.S. Army Air Force and then graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Industrial Engineering, Youngblood joined the Secret Service in 1951 and protected Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon during his 20-year tenure. He retired in 1971 as the agency’s deputy director. He penned his memoir “20 Years in the Secret Service: My Life with Five Presidents,” before returning to Georgia, where he resided with his wife of 53 years, and his family until his death in 1996.

Over the years, Youngblood's daughter Rebecca, became more and more intrigued by her parents' life stories. They were everyday people who overcame many challenges (the death of a young father, an alcoholic father, the Depression, World War II, constant separation...). They grew together and raised a family while brushing shoulders with some of the country's most notable people, bearing witness to some of history's most dramatic events. 

While researching her parents' lives to write their story, retired physician and published author Rebecca Youngblood Vaughn, the youngest daughter of Rufus and Peggy Youngblood re-discovered the veritable treasure-trove of mementos from her father's 20-year tenure as a high-profile Secret Service Agent, which inspired her to publish a new edition of his memoir, “20 Years in the Secret Service: My Life With Five Presidents.”  

Photo Credit: WHPO

A new, expanded edition of “20 Years in the Secret Service: My Life With Five Presidents , ” the insider memoir written by the late Secret Service Agent and native Georgian Rufus W. Youngblood , will soon invite readers behind the scenes of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and its aftermath. The Limited Edition is available for purchase in late May, making it a timely gift for Father’s Day and graduation.

Coinciding with renewed interest in the events her father experienced personally, Rebecca Youngblood Vaughn has compiled a collection of over 100 historical photos that enhance the original manuscript by illustrating Youngblood’s narrative.

“My father, Rufus Youngblood, was a dedicated, observant, and deeply loyal man, and ‘20 Years in the Secret Service’ is a perfect reflection of that,” says Vaughn. “His first-hand accounts take the reader on a personalized journey through history that’s unlike anything available in a textbook.”

During his 20-year career as an agent, Youngblood was assigned to protect President Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. Brimming with humorous recollections and plenty of heart, “20 Years in the Secret Service” offers a refreshing alternative to the history books of yore. Youngblood’s close relationships with the men and women who dominate American history bring them to life as people, ordinary in as many ways as they are extraordinary.

Youngblood’s candid narrative provides a fascinating lens through which readers can view critical events in American politics that sent shockwaves throughout the world, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., global protests against the Vietnam War, and more. Youngblood retired from the Secret Service as its deputy director in 1971.

Jack Valenti, former president of the Motion Picture Association and former Special Assistant to President Johnson said it best in his endorsement (circa 1973) of the book:

“This is an ‘insider’s book’ simply because there is no one more inside the public and private personalities of top government executives than Rufus Youngblood. … And his portrait of LBJ, strong leader, great heart, large warts, is history stuff. It’s a simple book about complex men and absorbing events.”

Youngblood also regales his readers with a brief history of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), including a digestible overview of the agency’s surprising origins. Throughout the course of the book, readers learn about the gradual evolution of the USSS, including how both attempted and successful assassinations of American Presidents fueled the agency’s expansion.

The Limited Edition, featuring a gold-embossed dust jacket encasing a 9-inch-by 6-inch hardcover book for $26.99, along with the new e-book and audiobook, will be released for purchase in late May, in time for Father’s Day, June 17, 2018. The softcover version will be released Fall 2018.

Limited Edition Features:

  • A new 48-page gallery carefully designed by Vaughn, including archival images from her father's personal collection and from her research in archives across the country
  • New foreword by Clint Hill, New York Times best-selling author, former Assistant Director of the U.S. Secret Service and agent known for bravely leaping on the car while underfire to shield President and Mrs. Kennedy with his body on November 22, 1963
  • Six new endorsements from high-profile supporters, including LBJ's daughters Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson and Tom Johnson, former chairman and CEO of CNN
  • New preface by Rebecca Youngblood Vaughn

For more information on Rufus Youngblood and to pre-order your copy of this Limited Edition book click HERE



posted 05/04/2018 in Community


No comments have been posted.

HTML not allowed, max characters 255, * denotes required field.