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Cryptonym: GPDROLL

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Clinton E. Knox, US Ambassador to Haiti from 1969-1973. A CIA cable in March 1970 talked about GPDROLL traveling between Washington and Miami on a plane in a discussion with lobbyist I. Irving Davidson.
Other possibilities is that Davidson's seatmate was Florida senator George Smathers or Haitian industrialist Harry Tippenhauer, but an FBI memo of March 1970 gives guidance as to what information can be provided to the "AMB" following GPDROLL's conversation with Davidson.

Davidson was close friends with LBJ's lobbyist Bobby Baker. Before his investigation and arrest in the 1963-64 period, Baker had a serious affair with his secretary Nancy Carol Tyler, who was the roommate of Mary Jo Kopechne. At the time, Kopechne was the secretary to Florida Senator George Smathers. Kopechne died at Chappaquiddick in 1969. Her death was blamed on Teddy Kennedy.

John Simkin, Bobby Baker biography: https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKbakerB.htm

Bobby Baker had also started a relationship with his secretary, Nancy Carole Tyler, She lived with Mary Jo Kopechne, who worked for George Smathers. "What started as a harmless affair eventually evolved into a romance, and I grew to love Carole Tyler. Young and beautiful and vivacious, at once a former beauty queen and a quick mind with a flair for politics, she was not difficult to love. Though I knew the guilt of a longtime family man with a loyal wife and five children, I did nothing to discourage our romance once it began."

124-10302-10106: No Title

Late March 1964: FBI correlation summary for I. Irving Davidson - While in Haiti, Irving Davidson sought the release of Rudy Tippenhauer. Also see pages 5-7 - Davidson describes himself as a "self-admitted five percenter" - a phrase at the time used for an influence peddler who would get 5% of any contract between the government and a private actor. The FBI, DOJ and Catherine Taaffe noted that Davidson was a registered agent of Nicaragua. Taaffe also described Davidson as a registered agent of Israel. FBI noted that Davidson was known to the CIA. pp. 7-8: Davidson was a source during April 1959 on anti-Castro picketing, and was advising picket chiefs Rafael del Pino and Pedro de Mesones.


03/16/70, Cable from Port au Prince to Director: "1. During plane trip between Washington and Miami GPDROLL sat next to Mr. I. Irving Davidson, Suite 806, City Building, 1612 K Street, N.W. Washington, D.C., telephone district 7-3400. Davidson spoke knowledgeably of Haitian affairs and alleged personal friendship with Duvalier, Marie Denise and Max Dominique. Also stated that he had at one point attempted to intervene on behalf of son Harry Tippenhauer but was informed by Duvalier that son had been killed by Elois Maitre CA 1965. 2. GPDROLL requests traces and background information that we may have. No Station traces. 3. No file. GP-1." - - - Another copy is at Reel 51, Folder O - IRVING DAVIDSON, p. 21.


3/20/70 CIA memo from WH/&/HT Jack Mullen: "Following may be passed on AMB in response ref (IN 43873). Isadore Irving Davidson DPOB 19 Dec 1921 Pittburgh PENNA registered Dec 63 as agent for Duvalier government...reportedly has been close friend of President Balaguer of Dominican Republic. Subject member of National Press Club and well-known in Washington circles, was friend of late Drew Pearson. He has often reported his activities to USG officials and as a result has been subject of considerable reporting by State Department and FBI...AMB however may be interested in active role taken by subject in attempting to mediate between Ambassador Timmons and Duvalier in late 1963 and early 1964...Prefer not to become middleman for (Ambassador's) inquiries re US citizens which routinely should be directed through own channels..." WH Comment: "Transmitted Ambassador's request for traces and background info on Subject."


Clinton E. Knox was the US ambassador to Haiti from 1969-1973. As seen in other posts here, the "ambassador" was the subject of the above FBI communication on 3/20/70 which was apparently in response to the 3/16/70 request by GPDROLL on the background of I. Irving Davidson.


"Clinton Everett Knox (May 5, 1908 New Bedford, Massachusetts – October 14, 1980, Silver Springs, Maryland) was an American ambassador to Haiti who was held hostage in his residence for almost 20 hours on January 24, 1973. Knox and Consul General Ward L. Christensen in exchange for the release of 12 Haitian prisoners, safe conduct to Mexico and a ransom of $70,000. Knox was also the Ambassador to the West African Republic of Dahomey (now the country of Benin) (1964-1969). He was the first African American secretary to the United States Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).[3] Biography Knox started his career at the State Department in 1945.[1] He graduated from New Bedford High School in 1926. Knox graduated from Williams College (A.B., 1930) and earned an M.A. from Brown University in 1931. Knox was as an instructor at Morgan State College, teaching history and international relations between 1931 and 1936 and again between 1939 and 1943. While not at Morgan State, he was studying European History at Harvard University (Ph.D., 1940). Knox was the Bayard-Cutting Fellow at Harvard (1938-1939)."

Ron Fimrite, "Pinning Down the Voodoo Ball", Sports Illustrated, 8/27/73: https://www.si.com/vault/1973/08/27/615731/pinning-down-the-voodoo-ball

1973: "...it has been five years since a major league ball was stitched in the continental United States. Before Spalding reached an agreement with Haitian industrialist Harry Tippenhauer, the sewing was done in Puerto Rico. Rising labor costs there soon compelled a move elsewhere. For three years Tippenhauer's Precision Manufacturing Company stitched all Spalding balls except the major league model. By January of this year it was decided Tippenhauer had enough stitchers of big-league caliber to make the move out of the bushes. Now every ball purchased by the National and American leagues has been sewn in his Port-au-Prince plant..Rolf Tippenhauer, nevertheless, bounces one in his hands as he talks. It is his product, not a plaything. "The girls don't really know what they are making, only that it is something used in a game played in the United States," he says. "I have never seen any baseball except on television in Puerto Rico, where I worked for a time. Actually, I am only managing the plant to help my father out. I am an architect, educated at the University of Geneva and the National University of Mexico. But we are proud here of our baseballs...At 72 Harry Tippenhauer is as tall and erect as his son. He is a Haitian aristocrat of German descent, a man of property, a manufacturer, a builder, an engineer, a college professor, a maker of baseballs...If Spalding sent us the materials we could make the entire ball, not just sew it," he said over a beer in the bar of the picturesque Grand Hotel Oloffson. He is black, but he looks Prussian, a black uhlan. "There is, as you can see, no shortage of labor here. Quite the contrary. But I suppose the major leagues want to maintain certain controls. Still, we work very closely with Spalding. They can terminate our contract with six months' notice."

The Third Decade, Volume 3, Issue 5 Current Section: Dead Suspects - Part 4, by Scott Van Wynsberghe

"The Teamsters and the government of Nicaragua - as well as the government of Haiti and the oil-rich Murchisons of Texas - shared a Washington lobbyist, I. Irving Davidson. Aside from being a friend of Jimmy Hoffa, Davidson's accomplishments included helping influence-peddler Bobby Baker make a deal in Puerto Rico, and securing a loan from the Teamsters pension fund for the Murchisons..."

Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich

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