Inga Arvad

Inga Arvad

Inga Arvad (1913-1973) was a Danish journalist, noted for a romantic relationship with John F. Kennedy from 1941 to 1942 and for being Adolf Hitler's companion at the 1936 Summer Olympics. She was born Inga Maria Petersen but changed her name in 1931. She was a motion picture writer for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1945 and a Hollywood gossip columnist

Newspaper reporter

She was the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende's beauty queen of 1931.cite news | author=Bjørn Westergaard | title=B.T. fandt de smukke piger | url= | publisher=B.T. | date=2006-06-24 | accessdate=2006-11-03 da icon] She attended the Columbia School of Journalism in New York, and then moved to Washington D.C. where she worked as a columnist at the Washington Times-Herald. She met Kennedy in Washington through his sister Kathleen (also nicknamed Kick) [] nineteen years before he was sworn in as President of the United States. She was investigated by the FBI under their suspicion that she may have been a spy for Nazi Germany.

In 1935, she interviewed Hitler and this connection to the dictator would color the rest of her life. She is thought to be among the few Scandinavians to interview Hitler."British Conference Delegate Woos and Wins Film Writer", Los Angeles Times, May 22, 1945, Page A3.] He granted her two interviews, or perhaps three."Kennedy Affair With Spy Suspect Reported", Los Angeles Times, January 19, 1976, Page B8.] Arvad had scooped her colleages earlier by reporting that Hermann Goering was soon to marry German actress, Emmy Sudenberg. She was invited to the wedding and met important Nazis. Through Paul Joseph Goebbels she secured an interview with the Führer."Wife of Actor Tim McCoy Dies of Cancer", Los Angeles Times, December 14, 1973, Page OCA4.] In her article, a description of Hitler was later translated into English as: "You immediately like him. He seems lonely. The eyes, showing a kind heart, stare right at you. They sparkle with force." Arvad was Hitler's companion at the 1936 Summer Olympics, which led to her being investigated in America as a potential spy. Hitler had told her that she was a perfect example of Nordic Beauty. A photograph of her with Hitler surfaced and the FBI followed her, finding out that she was dating an American ensign. That the naval soldier was Kennedy led to only greater scrutiny and suspicions that were never substantiated. Though she only wrote society news, and Inga never agreed with Hitler's politics, this connection shadowed her professional life.

Romance with John F. Kennedy & FBI Investigation

As an enemy of the Kennedy family, J. Edgar Hoover, then acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, sought blackmail material to exert political influence on the Kennedys. Fact|date=February 2007In November 1941, while John F. Kennedy served as an ensign in the US Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence, he and Arvad began a romantic relationship. Arvad was already being followed by the FBI due to allegations that she was a German spy, as well as her previously being photographed with Hitler. When the FBI discovered that the "ensign Jack" that had been visiting the married Arvad was, in fact, a Kennedy, they extended their investigation. Hoover then had his men photograph the couple and record their bedroom activities with hidden microphones, as reported by Seymour Hersh, the investigative journalist who first broke the My Lai massacre and Abu Graib torture stories, in his book "The Dark Side of Camelot". Hersh maintains that Kennedy tried to recover those audiotapes throughout his presidency.Kennedy nicknamed Arvad "Inga-Binga" and she called him "Honeysuckle".Fact|date=February 2007

Kennedy's superior officer at the time, Captain Seymour A.D. Hunter, was quoted as saying that the U.S. Navy looked at Arvad as similar to Mata Hari. They thought she was using Kennedy to find out all she could about what was going on in the U.S. Department of the Navy. Captain Howard Klingman, then assistant director of the Office of Naval Intelligence, called Hunter in his office. Hunter was told that Kennedy needed to be put out of the Navy. Hunter pointed out that the situation was delicate because of Joseph P. Kennedy having been United States Ambassador to England. However, he believed the young naval intelligence officer was not privy to information that would be "more than a bit embarrassing." Hunter advised that Kennedy be transferred to a seagoing unit.

Hoover hoped that Arvad, already suspected of being a Nazi spy for her activities with high-ranking Nazis in the 1930s, would incriminate Kennedy enough so that he could have Kennedy discharged from the Navy and lay ruin to the Kennedy political dynasty.Fact|date=February 2007 However, Kennedy was suddenly reassigned to a desk job in South Carolina in January, 1942 and the relationship ended after a few brief encounters. Kennedy and Arvad knew they were being followed, and in the FBI transcripts of their encounters they sometimes spoke to "whoever is listening."

Marriages and romances

Arvad married young, and her second husband was Hungarian film director Paul Fejos. She appeared in two Danish films, "Storm Varse" and the Fejos-directed 1934 film she starred in, "Flugten fra Millionerne". She was still married to Fejos when she travelled to the United States, as well as during her affair with Kennedy.

She became engaged to Robert Boothby, a member of Parliament in England in May 1945. He met Arvad in Los Angeles, California while he was with an English delegation to aconference in San Francisco, California. Boothby sent her a twenty page letter pleading with her to marry himafter he returned to England. Arvad accepted, but then broke off the engagement because of a compliment Hitler once paid her and the effect it may have on Boothby's political career. The Nazi dictator had said she was "the perfect Nordic beauty". Arvad commented that she despised Hitler's policies and only saw him on the two occasions of her interviews. However, the English press made much of her audience with him and Boothby was soon to be seeking re-election."Compliment By Hitler Ends Romance With M.P.", Los Angeles Times, May 24, 1945, Page 1.]

Arvad was the mistress of Axel Wenner-Gren, a Swedish industrialist on the U.S. State Department blacklist. The U.S. Navy was concerned that Wenner-Gren's yacht was being used to refuel German U-boats.

Inga went on to marry American actor Tim McCoy in 1945. With Tim, she had two sons, Ronald and Terence McCoy. Arvad met McCoy as a newspaper writer when he was making a film short shot on an American Indian reservation. McCoy and Arvad resided on a convert|127|acre|km2|sing=on ranch in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. McCoy moved there after selling his Wyoming ranch, where he lived for thirty-seven years. When their first child was born in August 1947, McCoy was 56. He had two children by a previous marriage. ["Tim McCoy Announces Birth of Son", Los Angeles Times, August 14, 1947, Page 4.]

In January 1946 David O. Selznick sent Arvad on a tour of twenty-five to thirty American cities to promote "Duel in the Sun". She was accompanied by Anita Colby, Florence Pritchett, and Laura Wells. ["Gold Rush Spurs Opus; New Draftee Heroized", Los Angeles Times, January 18, 1946, Page 9.]

Inga Arvad died of cancer on a ranch near Nogales, Arizona in 1973. She was survived by McCoy, then 82, and her two sons.



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