Despite his name, Floyd Boring was actually an interesting man. As a Secret Service agent, he was with FDR when he died, twice saved the life of Harry Truman, protected Ike, served as a top agent for JFK and retired after serving LBJ.
Floyd Boring With FDR
An unshakably brave, honest and always amiable former Pennsylvania State Trooper, Floyd Boring (1915-2008) was new to the Secret Service when he was assigned to help guard FDR. Agent Boring was in Warm Springs, Ga., when President Roosevelt died. He was standing just outside the window of the room when FDR suffered a massive stroke. He rushed in to offer help, but nothing could be done to save the stricken President Roosevelt. As the entire nation grieved, Floyd Boring escorted the body to Hyde Park, N.Y., by train.
Saving Harry Truman
Agent Boring had become close with Harry Truman in an unusual way. After FDR’s death, Truman’s usual driver (an Army sergeant) got drunk and did not show up for work. Boring became President Truman’s driver and the two men immediately hit it off. Truman occasionally asked Boring in to play poker. Truman enjoyed Boring’s company – and that closeness paid off when the President decided to take a swim in the Potomac after taking a cruise on the Presidential yacht. When the President began frantically struggling in the water, on the verge of drowning, the always observant and cool-headed Floyd Boring saved him.
Terrorist Attack – 1950
On Nov. 1, 1950, Floyd Boring was standing guard outside Blair House where the Trumans were staying while the White House was being renovated. On the unseasonably warm afternoon, Truman was napping in an upstairs window while Floyd Boring chatted with several uniformed White House guards. At that moment, two Puerto Rican nationalist terrorists charged the house. They began firing, hoping to kill the agents, storm the house, and kill President Truman. Under fire, Floyd Boring yelled for Truman to get down. White House guard Leslie Coffelt was killed. Floyd Boring wounded one of the terrorists and thought his shots had killed the other. Historians disagree about whose shot brought down the terrorist, but no one questioned the courage of Floyd Boring. His actions may well have saved Truman’s life. Having saved Truman’s life twice, guarding homebody President Eisenhower was quiet and easy!
The Assassination Of JFK
Whenever I speak about the JFK assassination (please see my related articles on Dorothy Killgallen and the fascinating TV mini-series 11.22.63), people ask about why the Secret Service made so many errors that could have saved the President. Without question, every law enforcement agency in Dallas that day failed. The Secret Service made numerous errors and corrected many procedures as a result. Floyd Boring was not in Dallas, but still figures deeply in the story.
Stationed in Washington, Deputy Special Agent Floyd Boring was in charge of the advance arrangements for JFK’s high stakes visit to Dallas. The Secret Service was stretched thin by JFK’s constant travels, his love of being in public and the voluminous death threats against the controversial President. The biggest failure of the Secret Service that day was in not stationing agents on the bumper of JFK’s limo, as Boring’s instructions demanded. JFK had ordered those agents to stand down, giving Oswald an unobstructed line of sight. Boring was devastated by the murder of JFK. He served a few more years, guarding LBJ before retiring in 1967. He died in 2008 at age 92.