top of page

Oswald’s Psychiatric History Detailed

Nov. 30, 1963 - Lee Harvey Oswald (pictured at the Bronx Zoo in 1953), accused assassin of President Kennedy, underwent a court-ordered psychiatric examination in New York City in 1953, when he was 13 years old. Details of the case came to light today. Judge Florence E. Kelley, presiding judge of the Family Court, said she had turned the records in the case over to the FBI. The New York Post said that a psychiatrist’s report written at that time stated that Oswald showed schizophrenic tendencies and was “potentially dangerous.” The Post said that Oswald’s mother, Marguerite, had found him uncontrollable. Oswald lived in the Bronx from March 1952 to January 1953, while his mother was working as a saleswoman in New York City. He attended Junior High School 117 and, later, Junior High School 44, both in the Bronx. The Post said Oswald had a record of persistent truancy and was brought before the old Bronx Domestic Relations Court, Children’s Branch. This Court has since been replaced by the Family Court. Under the law, the record in a case involving a minor may not be disclosed, except at the discretion of the presiding judge of the Family Court. Judge Kelley said: “Oswald is dead, and if this kind of report could cast light on what kind of person he was, that would be in the national interest.” Judge Kelley said Oswald underwent psychiatric treatment after his court appearance, but she refused to give further details of the case. The Post said its information about the nature of the psychiatric report came “from other sources.” It said the report had recommended that Oswald be committed to an institution for unruly youths but that the court had rejected the recommendation. Today, Nicholas Cicchetti, the present principal of Junior High School 44, said in an interview that one of Oswald’s teachers had described him as a “belligerent, hostile youngster who was withdrawn and had no friends to speak of.” The teacher said Oswald was a boy “who would lash out at anyone who offended him,” Mr. Cicchetti said.


bottom of page