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Earle Cabell (October 27, 1906 – September 24, 1975) was a Texas politician who served as mayor of Dallas, Texas. Cabell was mayor at the time of the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy and was later a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Earle Cabell
Earle Cabell.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1973
Preceded byBruce Reynolds Alger
Succeeded byAlan Steelman
48th Mayor of Dallas
In office
1961 – February 3, 1964
Preceded byRobert L. Thornton
Succeeded byJ. Erik Jonsson
Personal details
Born(1906-10-27)October 27, 1906
Dallas County, Texas
DiedSeptember 24, 1975(1975-09-24) (aged 68)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
ParentsBen E. Cabell
Sadie E. Pearre
RelativesWilliam L. Cabell (grandfather)
Charles P. Cabell (brother)
Alma materTexas A&M University
Southern Methodist University

Early lifeEdit

Cabell was born in Dallas. He attended Texas A&M University, where he met Jack Crichton and H.R. "Bum" Bright, and thereafter Southern Methodist University. After returning from college, he founded, along with his brothers, Cabell's Inc., a chain of dairies and convenience stores. He later became involved with banking and other investments. May 1961, he was elected mayor to succeed Robert L. Thornton.


Cabell was the youngest of 4 sons of the then former Dallas Mayor Ben E. Cabell and also the grandson of the former Dallas Mayor William L. Cabell. He was the brother of Charles Cabell, who was deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency until Charles was fired in the wake of the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Assassination of KennedyEdit

Cabell and his wife met United States President John F. Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy at Love Field on the morning of November 22, 1963.[1] Cabell's wife reported that while riding in Kennedy's motorcade through Dealey Plaza, she observed "a rather long looking thing" sticking out of a window of the Texas School Book Depository immediately after the first shot.[2] After receiving word from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he was the subject of a death threat, Cabell was guarded by police when he traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend Kennedy's funeral and also upon his return to Dallas.[3]

One version of John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, the "Renegade CIA Clique" theory, implicates Cabell and other alleged conspirators, including CIA officials James Jesus Angleton, William King Harvey, and Cabell's brother Charles Cabell.[4] This theory claims Earle Cabell re-routed Kennedy's motorcade as a favor to his brother.[4]


On February 3, 1964, Cabell resigned as mayor of Dallas in order to run for Congress. He unseated the ten-year Republican incumbent Bruce Alger. In that same election, Jack Crichton was defeated by a wide margin by the Democratic Texas Governor John B. Connally, Jr., and George Herbert Walker Bush fell to United States Senator Ralph W. Yarborough. Cabell served four terms in the House before he was defeated by the Republican Alan Steelman in the 1972 election.

Later lifeEdit

Following his defeat, he retired in Dallas, where he lived until his death in 1975 from emphysema. He was buried at Restland Cemetery in Dallas.[5]


The Earle Cabell Federal Building and Courthouse on Commerce Street in Dallas is named in his honor.[6]


  1. ^ "JFK's Arrival in Dallas". University of Texas Arlington Libraries Special Collections. "Howdy, Mr. President!"; A Fort Worth Perspective of JFK. Arlington, Texas: The University of Texas at Arlington. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  2. ^ "Eyewitness Stories of Kennedy Slaying Among Most Telling Evidence". Chicago Tribune. 118 (272). AP. September 28, 1964. Section 1, page 7. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  3. ^ "Probe Reports Dallas School Kids Cheered; Move Pastor to Place of Safety". Chicago Tribune. 116 (332). November 28, 1963. Section 1, page 14. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Catchpole, Terry (January 17, 1992). "Nine JFK assassination theories". Entertainment. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  5. ^ "Political Graveyard, Dallas County, TX". Political Graveyard. 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
  6. ^ "Court Tours". United States District Court | Northern District of Texas. Archived from the original on 11 October 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2019.

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