Abraham Bolden was born into a poor family in East St. Louis, Illinois. After graduating from Lincoln University he spent four years as an Illinois State Trooper. His record was so outstanding that in 1959 President Dwight Eisenhower appointed him to the United States Secret Service. Based in Chicago, he won "two commendations for cracking counterfeiting rings".
In 1961 President John F. Kennedy appointed Bolden as part of the Secret Service White House detail. According to Jim Marrs (Crossfire: The Plt That Killed Kennedy), Bolden was personally selected by Kennedy "in an attempt to integrate the previously all-white Secret Service detail".
Bolden spent only three months working for Kennedy. He complained about the "separate housing facilities for black agents on southern trips". At a meeting with James J. Rowley, the head of the Secret Service, Bolden criticized the "general laxity and the heavy drinking among the agents who were assigned to protect the President". As a result of these complaints, Bolden was sent back to the Chicago office and assigned to routine anti-counterfeiting duties.
Bolden claimed that in October, 1963, the Chicago Secret Service office received a teletype from the Federal Bureau of Investigation warning that an attempt would be made to kill President John F. Kennedy by a four-man Cuban hit squad when he visited the city on 2nd November. Armed with high-powered rifles, the men from "a dissident Cuban group". According to investigative journalist Edwin Black, the Secret Service arrested two suspects, however, they were eventually released.
Abraham Bolden later discovered that this information was being kept from the Warren Commission. When he complained about this he was warned "to keep his mouth shut". Bolden decided to travel to Washington where he telephoned Warren Commission Counsel J. Lee Rankin. Bolden was arrested and taken back to Chicago where he was charged with discussing a bribe with two known counterfeiters. He was eventually found guilty of accepting a bribe and spent six years in prison. When he tried to draw attention to his case, he was placed in solitary confinement.
Sam DeStefano, one of the men who accused Bolden of this crime, was murdered in 1973. DeStefano was close to Sam Giancana, Charles Nicoletti and Richard Cain. It is believed that Cain murdered DeStefano. Soon afterwards, Cain himself was murdered.
In 2008 Abraham Bolden published his book, The Echo from Dealey Plaza, an account of his time as a member of the White House Secret Service.