Mr. D, Robert DeProspero, has passed away. 12/31/1938-3/4/2019
A Secret Service legend—and my favorite agent—has passed away. Robert DeProspero, who served from 1965-1986 and was head of President Reagans detail for several years…simply the best. Godspeed, Bobby.
I had the supreme pleasure of quite a pleasant surprise in 2011: Mr. DeProspero wrote to me out of the blue with a very nice and inspiring message of encouragement. I confess to being slightly embarrassed for being such a critic of the agency’s performance on 11/22/63 (before his time, mind you), but he didn’t seem to mind.
I had the honor of speaking to him a couple times in 2016 (he generously invited my wife and I to his house for Thanksgiving. To my supreme regret, we could not make it…I really regret not making it now). We also corresponded and I even had the pleasure of speaking to his daughter, also an esteemed member of the Secret Service.
I am very happy I was able to be an Associate Producer of the documentary about his life, THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT.
I am saddened by his passing but heartened by the example of the life he led. He truly left his mark on the world.
“In the months after the attack [3/30/81-Reagan assassination attempt], DeProspero took over Reagan’s security detail. He imposed a raft of new security requirements, some of which remain standard Secret Service protocol.
He is credited with the agency’s decision to begin using magnetometers to screen guests to all presidential visits away from White House. Presidential advisors had long resisted such electronic frisking, fearing it might alienate invited donors and constituents.
DeProspero also enacted the policy, still in force today, of stationing an agent at the closest trauma hospital whenever the president travels.
DeProspero also successfully pushed for the installation of bulletproof glass on many White House windows, over the objections of the mansion’s historical preservationists.
Eight members of Mr. DeProspero’s detail became assistant or deputy directors of the Secret Service, and two, Lewis Merletti and Brian Stafford, rose to become director.”