Death of Maurice Brooks Gatlin (May 1965)
Maurice Brooks Gatlin was general counsel and New Orleans representative of the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas, one of many CIA fronts to overthrow Latin American communist, socialist and nationalist governments. Gatlin was awarded by Nicaraguan president Luis Somoza, a pro big business dictator and favorite of the CIA. He is known to have cooperated with Guy Banister. Gatlin died from a fall of the 6th floor of a Puerto Rican hotel in May 1965. According to the newspapers, he fell over the railing as the result of a heart attack, while the coroner's report concluded that Gatlin had committed suicide.
May 31, 1965, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 'Heart Attack Kills N. O. Attorney in Puerto Rico: M. B. Gatlin Then Falls 6 Stories From Hotel':
New Orleans attorney Maurice B. Gatlin Sr. died in San Juan Puerto Rico, Friday [May 28] night after suffering a heart attack which resulted in his falling six stories from a hotel there, his son said Sunday.
A coroner's report, said Maurice B. Gatlin Jr., attributed his death to the heart attack. Mr. Gatlin fell over a sixth floor railing at the hotel to the ground, Gatlin Jr. stated.
Mr. Gatlin, 62, was attending a meeting of the Inter-American Bar Associtaion in San Juan.
He had been decorated with the Ruben Dario medal July 22, 1961, for his efforts in fighting communism. It was presented to him by Nicaraguan Consul General Reynaldo Chavez on behalf of Nicaraguan President Luis Somoza.
At the time, Chavez said the medal was for "Mr. Gatlin's efforts against communism and for helping to stop the flow of arms shipments from New Orleans to Fidel Catro's forces in Cuba."
In addition to the Inter-American Bar Association, he was also a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Criminal Courts Bar Association.
A political ally of the late U.S. Sen. Huey P. Long, Mr. Gatlin had once served as attorney for the collector of revenue of Louisiana.
In 1954, he opposed U.S. Rep. Hale Boggs in the Democratic primay for the party nomination for the House of Representatives and was [soundly] defeated.
He had also served for a time as the New Orleans representative of the Anti-Communist Committee of the Americas.
Born in Century, Fla., Mr. Gatlin was graduated from Loyola University and Tulane University Law School. He had practiced law since 1931.
Survivors include his widow, the former Miss Bernadette C. O'Dowd, his son, of Waveland Miss. and a daughter, Mrs. Robert Evanss
Coroner's suicide conclusion: