David Schine

David Schine

David Schine was born on 11th September, 1927. His father was the owner of the Schine Hotel Corporation. Educated at Harvard University he produced a six pamphlet on the dangers of Communism that was distributed free to those staying at his father's hotels. In the Definition of Communism, Schine argued that the Communist Party was guilty of "stealing words, such as freedom, security, and equality from the Bible, and other good covenants to confuse issues, and deceive the mind into ensnarement."

Schine was very friendly with the anti-communist lawyer, Roy Cohn. In 1951 Joseph McCarthy appointed Cohn as the chief counsel to the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate. Soon afterwards, Cohn recruited Schine to become his chief consultant.

For some time opponents of Joseph McCarthy had been accumulating evidence concerning his homosexual relationships. Rumours began to circulate that Schine and Roy Cohn were having a sexual relationship. Although well-known by political journalists, it did not become public until Hank Greenspun published an article in the Las Vagas Sun in 25th October, 1952.

Joseph McCarthy considered a libel suit against Greenspun but decided against it when he was told by his lawyers that if the case went ahead he would have to take the witness stand and answer questions about his sexuality. In an attempt to stop the rumours circulating, McCarthy married his secretary, Jeannie Kerr. Later the couple adopted a five-week old girl from the New York Foundling Home.

In October, 1953, McCarthy began investigating communist infiltration into the military. Attempts were made by McCarthy to discredit Robert Stevens, the Secretary of the Army. The president, Dwight Eisenhower, was furious and now realised that it was time to bring an end to McCarthy's activities.

The United States Army retaliated by passing information about Joseph McCarthy to journalists known to be opposed to him. This included the news that Roy Cohn had abused congressional privilege by trying to prevent Schine from being drafted. When that failed, it was claimed that Cohn tried to pressurize the Army to grant Schine special privileges. The well-known newspaper columnist, Drew Pearson, published the story on 15th December, 1953.

After serving in the United States Army Schine returned to the family business. He married a former Miss Sweden and became involved in show business. As well as acting in Batman (1966) he produced two movies, The French Connection (1971) and That's Action (1977).

On 19th June, 1996, David Schine, his wife and son perished in an air-crash in California. The single-engine plane, piloted by Schine's son, crashed shortly after taking off from Burbank Airport.