Jeane Dixon was astrologer to the presidents; member of noted San Bernardino family

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This 1950's publicity photo was after Lydia Emma Pinckert from San Bernardino became famed psychic Jeane Dixon.

Lydia Pinckert left San Bernardino soon after turning 18. She’d come visit some of her successful brothers and sister but Lydia Pinckert never looked back as she molded a life of international stardom. In the process of transforming herself into a renowned psychic, Pinckert saw the stars miraculously align in her favor.

Until newspaper stories were written about her growing up next to her parent’s gas station on 9th and Mt. Vernon Avenue, few realized that the media star was the same person that came from San Bernardino. She was now called Jeane Dixon and her first medium was radio. Then television and finally as a syndicated newspaper columnist whose horoscope readings were published daily across America. After her death in 1997, the Jeane Dixon Museum and Library was established in Strasburg, Virginia.

Dixon first gained moderate notoriety by providing President Franklin Roosevelt readings from her crystal ball. She advised the isolationist Roosevelt to get involved soon with World War II. When Roosevelt pushed to learn more about his health, Dixon told him that he would be dying within the next year.

Dixon remained active in the nation’s capital from 1940 to 1990. In a UPI report, Dixon predicted John F. Kennedy’s assassination and frantically tried to get his aides to cancel his fateful 1963 trip “down south.” Dixon was also the psychic advisor to President’s Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan. She predicted that the three Apollo astronauts would die after touchdown.

Dixon carefully crafted her media image, starting with her birth date which she changed from 1904 to 1918. With her glamorous looks, she pulled off the age change so slick that the New York Times fell for it in her obituary. Her grace and perseverance attracted the eye of millionaire James Dixon, who married her and moved his lucrative real estate business from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. It was fertile soil for the new Mrs. Dixon, who quickly maneuvered her way into becoming the “fortune teller to the presidents.” She never accepted money for her readings because most reports state that she never needed it.

In her biography, Dixon contradicts herself in different places. Her late sister, Evelyn “Pinky” Pinckert confirmed that when other little girls were playing with dolls, Jeane was playing with a crystal ball. Dixon often said her mother took her along to gypsy camps, where the gypsies were amazed by her mystic palm markings. She told reporters in Washington that she was home-schooled by a European governess, received voice and polo lessons, and learned riding from American Indians. She often said her family came to San Bernardino with substantial money earned in the Wisconsin lumber industry.

Author and investigator Karen Frazier and other experts in the field of paranormal called Dixon the most famous contemporary psychic. Dixon said her psychic abilities were a gift from God, but many believed she was more of a celebrity and entertainer than a gifted psychic. Frazier still lists Dixon at #3 behind Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce as the leading psychic of all-time. Researchers at Encyclopedia.com considered Dixon the most famous and accurate seer of political events of the 20th Century.

Dixon drew attention in 1966 when she falsely predicted the Beatles would perish in a plane crash going from Philadelphia to Indianapolis. Dixon was so respected that John and George hired a driver as Ringo and Paul safely landed in Indy. According to Beatles’ biographers that same plane did crash one year later, killing the occupants. Colleagues of Dixon explained that psychics are held to a higher standard than other professions. She was called a fraud when she wrongly predicted a destructive comet would hit earth.

Blair Richardson is one of a handful of new wave psychic mediums, who says Jean Dixon impacted his life and helped give the profession a good image. “I’m a huge fan of hers. As a young boy, I would hear about people who frowned upon psychics. Jean Dixon was a caring woman. She made the profession into something that was not bad or evil. She walked to church everyday,” explained Richardson, who will be making an appearance in Redlands on Nov. 3rd.

“I did not know that Jean Dixon lived in San Bernardino. I own all her books and some of her personal items. She inspired me. I have either the real thing or a replica crystal ball of hers. I have met people who once knew her.” Richardson would love to connect with his idol but said it just doesn’t work that way. “I would need to make a connection through one her family members.” Richardson pointed out that Dixon and others are ridiculed too harshly for wrong predictions

“No one is 100% no matter what you do,” said Richard Claunch of the paranormal organization “Ghost2Ghost” based in Riverside. Claunch recommended contacting Pinckert’s surviving family to see if they have had contact with Dixon since she’s died. “I’m sure someone in her family has communicated with her and would be willing to talk about it. It is usually a family member.” Attempts to get comment from her nephews Sandy Pinckert and Dr. Victor Rafa were unsuccessful.

Although Dixon left San Bernardino as a teen, the rest of the Pinckert family stayed and collectively accomplished major feats. Their father, Frank operated Pinckert’s Service Station and grocery store for roughly 30 years. Her sister, Pinky was one of the first women aviators. Her brother Ernie, played pro football and is in the College Football Hall of Fame. Brother’s Warren and Victor were a dentist and insurance agent.

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