(February 15, 1892 – May 22, 1949)
Former Secretary of Defense James Vincent Forrestal died on May 22, 1949, after falling from the 13th floor of the U.S. Naval Hospital at Bethesda, Md. Forrestal's broken, bloodied body was found clad in pajamas and a bathrobe. The cord of the robe was wound tightly around his neck. He had been hospitalized due to "operational fatigue" attributed to "excessive work."
Forrestal's death was ruled a suicide, but the matter for many people, including members of Forrestal's family, remained far from resolved. Forrestal's brother, Henry, told reporters at the time of the death that he "believed that someone threw my brother out the window" and that he considered it quite strange that his brother died "just a few hours before I was to take him home." Additionally, James Forrestal's spiritual adviser, Monsignor Maurice Sheehy, told reporters that an unidentified Navy warrant officer at the hospital told him that Forrestal "didn't kill himself."
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