The testimony of Herbert B. Kravitz was taken at 7:45 p.m., on July 24th, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Burt W. Griffin, assistant counsel of the Prestdent's Commission.


Mr. GRIFFIN. Mr. Kravitz, my name is Burt Griffin. I am a member of the general counsel's staff of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. We have a few preliminary matters that we always go through with the witnesses to explain to them a little bit about the Commission and what we are doing. The Commission was set up pursuant to an Executive order of President Johnson and a joint resolution of Congress. Under that Executive, order and the joint resolution, the Commission has been directed to investigate into and evaluate and report back to President Johnson upon all the facts that relate to the assassination of President Kennedy and the death of Lee Harvey Oswald. We have asked you to come here tonight in particular because you have been acquainted with Jack Ruby, and particularly because you saw him shortly before President Kennedy was assassinated.
Now, the Commission has a set of rules and regulations which are promulgated and under those rules and regulations I have been specifically designated to take your testimony. There is a provision in the rules that a witness is entitled to have 3 days written notice before he appears before the Commission and I will ask you at this point if you have received a letter from us and when you received it?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Yes; I did.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was it 3 days ago or more?
Mr. KRAVITZ. I'll tell you in this ease that I have just moved recently, and the letter was lost in the mail and I just got the letter yesterday, but I was notified by telephone, which I think was more than 3 days ago.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And you have no objection to going forward at this point?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you have any particular questions you want to ask before I start to question you?
Mr. KRAVITZ. No; none whatsoever.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. If you would raise your right hand and be sworn. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. KRAVITZ. I do.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Will you state your name for the record?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Herbert B. Kravitz.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How do you spell your last name?
Mr. KRAVITZ. K-r-a-v-i-t-z [spelling].
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where do you live now?
Mr. KRAVITZ. In Dallas.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Whereabouts in Dallas?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Bachman, Boulevard; 2631.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When were you born?
Mr. KRIFFIN. On March 12, 1938.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And are you employed?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Self-employed.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What do you do?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Publishing business; I am with 20th Century Publishers, Inc.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What sort of publication do you have?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Well, our first book will be out the end of August. It's a fairly new enterprise it's approximately 4 months old.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you do before that?
Mr. KRAVITZ. I was on the road with a clothing outfit and traveled part of the country. That's how I first got to Dallas.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You know Jack Ruby, don't you?
Mr. GRIFFIN. When did you first happen to meet him?
Mr. KRAVITZ. I was with an entertainer friend of mine I really can't give you specific dates, but the entertainer was a comedian, Fred Barber, [spelling] B-a-r-b-e-r.
Mr. GRIFFIN. That's Barber?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Yes; and Fred and I were in a Chinese restaurant--Yee's---and Jack Ruby, I presume, saw Fred's act and came over to the table and introduced


himself to Fred and myself. I did not know him prior to that and asked Fred and myself to come to his club, which we did the next evening.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long was that before the President was assassinated?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Oh, that was quite some time.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Several months?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Oh, I really can't say--it was just 4 or 5 or 6 months, I suppose, and then I saw Mr. Ruby. After that I went to his club a few times. I saw Mr. Ruby approximately a week before the assassination.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, When you talked with two FBI agents, Joseph Peggs and Alvin Zimmerman, you indicated that the last time you saw Ruby at the Carousel Club was on November 20; that would be 2 days before the assassination?
Mr. KRAVITZ. It's very possible.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would your memory have been more accurate at that time time than it is now?
Mr. KRAVITZ. I said a week--it could have been 2 or 3 days. It was very near to the assassination of the President.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What time did you arrive at the club that night?
Mr. KRAVITZ. I had a date, so I would say it was in the evening, I'm not sure, but about 9 o'clock or after.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And how much time did you spend with Ruby that night?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Well, he came over to the table and talked with my date and myself--I didn't spend a lot of time with him, really, I didn't spend a lot of time with him--Jack knew me and we were acquaintances. We weren't what you would call close friends.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did he mention anything at that time about President Kennedy?
Mr. KRAVITZ. No; nothing at all. I never discussed politics, I never got into anything with Mr. Ruby about politics, and probably I said something about the time of day and how are you and so forth and so on.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you discuss with him, though, aside from the time of day--what seemed to be Ruby's particular interest?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Well, I never discussed much with Mr. Ruby. At one time when all this happened, it was in the Jewish holidays, and one incident I had with Mr. Ruby, he called me up once and wanted me to go with him to the synagogue, but I didn't know Mr. Ruby well and I didn't really want to go to the synagogue with Mr. Ruby--he is a character and so on and so forth, and I think he got a little aggravated with me, and I didn't see him after that until the night which you are talking about.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long was this telephone request before you saw him?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Oh, God, I would say months---I didn't go back to that place until this young lady I was out with that night wanted to go there, and said to her, "Well, I really don't want to go there," and said that I had had words with Jack Ruby, and I don't know how she interpreted that, but anyway, I did go back and I shook hands with him that night.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did he call you in connection with any high holiday?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Yes; there was one of the high holidays--it was either, if you are familiar with them, it was either Rosh Hashanah, or Yore Kippur--it was one of those; but I can't be sure which.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How did he happen to call you?
Mr. KRAVITZ. That's a good question; I don't know. The night that we were out with Freddie Barber, .we talked until 3, 4, or 5 o'clock in the morning--Freddie Barber and myself--we went out after, for breakfast, and I think he might have been impressed with me; I don't know.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did he know what business you were in at that time?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were you in the clothing business at that time?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did he have any reason to think that you might have had a connection with Barber that he wanted to use?
Mr. KRAVITZ. There is a possibility, I don't know, he might have thought that I was Freddie's agent, or Something, but I don't think that came up.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Had he talked to you about his


Mr. GRIFFIN. Or his synagogue attendance before that?
Mr. KRAVITZ. No; not really. I knew he was Jewish. He mentioned to me going to the rabbi, not the synagogue, but at other times, that he went to the rabbi for counsel or something like that, but we never got into any discussions on religion.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was Barber Jewish?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would Jack have realized that?
Mr. KRAVITZ. I think so; but our religion per se.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Had he ever suggested to you that he would like you to work for him or anything like that?
Mr. KRAVITZ. No; that evening, he suggested the possibility of our rooming together. This is the first time we met and I just, you know, laughed; I didn't say anything. I had no intention of ever rooming with Mr. Ruby.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How did he happen to mention that?
Mr. KRAVITZ. I really don't know; that's the first time I was with him--this was the evening that Freddie and I were together with him and the first time I ever met the man and I guess that he was interested in moving into an apartment. In fact, he was interested in moving into this Spa, this new building over here, and was looking for a roommate.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Is that the one on Turtle Creek?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did he indicate to you that he had made any application to move in there?
Mr. KRAVITZ. The building wasn't completed; I think he possibly had checked into it, but I really don't know about filling out an application for it.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would that have been back in the summer of 1963?
Mr. KRAVITZ. If we could find when Freddie Barber played in Dallas, I could tell you exactly; he's a friend of mine and he plays for 2 weeks at Club Village, which is a club here in town. It possibly could have been last summer.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you think there was any homosexual interest on Jack's part?
Mr. KRAVITZ. No; that question was raised to me before. I really have no idea as to Jack's sexual prowess, I certainly don't think the man was homosexual, but then, I don't know.
Mr. GRIFFIN. This must have been a rather lengthy conversation you had with him?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Yes; his club closed at 12 or I o'clock, and Freddie and myself and Jack and George Senator, his roommate went to a restaurant, and we sat and talked until--it must have been 4 o'clock in the morning.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you have occasion to see George Senator at any time after Oswald was shot?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Have you had occasion to see any of the people who are associated with the Carousel Club since Oswald was shot?
Mr. GRIFFIN. The night that you saw Ruby shortly before the assassination, did you notice anything unusual about his behavior?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Jack ever tell you anything about any interest he had in Cuba?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Can you think of anything else that might be of interest to us we haven't covered?
Mr. KRAVITZ. Not to my knowledge; now.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right, I am going to mark for identification what is a one-page document prepared by FBI Agents Peggs and Zimmerman as a result of an interview they had with you on November 27, 1963. I'm going to mark this exhibit as Herbert B. Kravitz, July 24, 1963, Exhibit 1, and I will hand it to you and ask you to look at it and tell me if that is an accurate report of what you said to Zimmerman and Peggs on November 27?


Mr. KRAVITZ. Well, this is an error here; Parker---that name is wrong--it should be Fred Barber, otherwise that's pretty accurate.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right, let me ask you to sign it in a conspicuous spot not far from where it has been marked.
(Mr. Kravitz signed instrument referred to.)
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right; thank you very much. I have no more questions. I appreciate your coming here tonight.
Mr. KRAVITZ. All right; I was glad to come.

Home .. Alphabetical list of witnesses