by Dick Mauer

The recuerdo by Robert Trent a while back concerning an episode he
experienced with the former owner of the Washington Red Skins triggered
a memory of my own of the Canadian born zillionaire, and L.A. Kings
owner, Jack Kent Cooke. It was about 1972 and and I was working at the
Pre-flight clearance facility at Toronto International airport on a Los
Angeles flight with another Immigrant Inspector friend of mine, Jack
A.(he of Calexico, Toronto, and San Juan, etc. fame) Having just come out of
the Border Patrol, Jack was a hard nosed inspector who was all business
 when working.

Jack and I were alternating our inspections of passengers as they
entered the departure lounge through an aisle that only allowed 1 person
at a time to come in front of our chest high desk. We would clear them,
stamp their boarding passes and send them on to Customs where a check of
their carry-ons was performed. A well dressed distinguished gentleman
was Jack's next passenger and Jack asked him:"What is your Citizenship'"
("U.S." replies the passenger), "'Place of birth?", ("Canada", replies
the man), "how did you become a U.S. citizen". ("President Eisenhower
made me a citizen" is the reply). Jack responds, "I understand. What was
the process you went through?" (The man replied,  "There was no process,
President Eisenhower Made me a citizen")  Jack has his Boston ire up by
now and says, "Everyone who naturalizes as an American citizen goes
through a process and I want you to tell me how you became a citizen!"
(The passenger is beet red now and states, "I told you three times how,
I am JACK KENT COOKE"!!) Jack, not a sports fan, stood his ground and calmly
 replied, "I don't care if you are Jack King Kong, you're not getting on that
airplane until I'm satisfied you are an American citizen!!!!!

By that time a lackey in Cooke's entourage dug through a brief case,
produced Cooke's U.S, passport and got it in front of Jack. Jack looked
at the picture in the passport, calmly stamped the boarding pass,
flicked it at JKC with his stamp and said, "next". Cooke was hysterical
by that point, screaming that he would have Jacks's job as his handlers

guided him into the passageway leading to the plane. Another Cooke aide
told us, and we later confirmed, that Jack Kent Cooke had been granted
U.S.  Citizenship through Presidential Proclamation in 1952. by
President Dwight D. Eisenhower. We never heard another word about it.