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Who was Lee Harvey Oswald's Wife, Marina Oswald?

Marina Oswald

Marina Prusakova, the woman who would marry infamous assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, was born in Molotovsk, Russia in 1941. When she turned sixteen, she to moved Minsk to live with her uncle, and gained employment as a hospital pharmacy worker.

In March of 1961, nineteen-year-old Marina met twenty-one-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald at a dance hall. Oswald had defected from the US to Russia, and was living and working in Minsk. Six weeks later in April 1961, the two were wed. Little is known about Marina’s motivation to marry Lee; however, he indicated in his Historic Diary that he married Marina to make another girlfriend jealous.

Ten months later, Marina gave birth to daughter, June, in February of 1962. But Lee Oswald had become bored and disillusioned with life in the USSR. Despite the fact that his wife barely spoke English, Oswald returned to the US with his family by the summer of 1962.

Marina and Lee

The Oswalds moved several times between Texas and Louisiana as Lee tried unsuccessfully to hold down a job. They eventually landed in the Dallas area, where they had a unique living arrangement. While Oswald rented a room in a boarding house in Oak Cliff, Marina lived in Irving with her friend, Mrs. Ruth Paine. Since Mrs. Paine had been studying and speaking Russian for several years, the situation benefited Marina, who spoke little English.

Marina with Children Junie and Rachel

In October of 1963, Oswald eventually gained employment at the Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza, and Marina gave birth to a second daughter, Rachel.

Marina was with Mrs. Paine on November 22, 1963 when they heard the news that the president had been assassinated. In an interview some time later, Marina described her reaction to the news: She groaned and bit her lip before admitting in halting English, “Ruth Paine told me that somebody from Lee work, from the School Book Depository shot, mm, uh, president, and you know, my heart go down because I think . . . because maybe this was Lee.”

Jack Ruby Aims at Lee Harvey Oswald

According to Mrs. Paine, Marina also remarked on the tragedy for the Kennedy family, “What a terrible thing this is for Mrs. Kennedy and for the two children. Now the two children will have to grow up without the father.”

Two days later, Lee Harvey Oswald was murdered on live television by nightclub owner Jack Ruby. Marina‘s children, too, were left to grow up without their father.


Read more about Marina Oswald, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the JFK Assassination in thriller novel, SAVING JACKIE K.

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