Judith Campbell Exner, 65, the Los Angeles socialite who made headlines in the mid-1970s when her name was linked to President John F. Kennedy as well as the nation's reputedly most powerful organized crime boss, died Friday of breast cancer in a hospital in Duarte, Calif.
In 1975, her name and accounts of her romantic involvements began leaking from Senate investigations of alleged CIA assassination attempts on foreign leaders.
Her name came to light after it was alleged that Kennedy had tried to use Mafia figures in an effort to get rid of Cuban communist leader Fidel Castro. It was reported that she was the girlfriend of Sam Giancana, one of the most prominent of Mafia chieftains.
Reports at the time alleged that the link between Giancana and the White House was a mystery woman who was at one time or another sexually involved with the president and the gangster.
Exner, who first denied acting as a go-between, claimed she did have affairs with both men, though not at the same time.
A book that appeared under her name in 1977 said she met and began her relationship with Kennedy in February 1960, when the Democrat was the junior senator from Massachusetts running for president, and ended it in 1962 while he was president.
Although documents later would confirm phone calls and White House visits, Kennedy loyalists denied the affair.
Exner said she met Giancana later, in a nightclub featuring singer Frank Sinatra. She said she believed that Giancana was a "Chicago businessman" when she began her affair and continued the affair after she learned otherwise. Giancana was killed in 1975.
Judith Katherine Immoor grew up in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles, the youngest daughter of a successful architect and granddaughter of a real estate tycoon.
At 18, she married television actor Bill Campbell, and the couple socialized with figures such as Sinatra. The Campbells were divorced six years later.