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John F. Kennedy ‘Secret File’ Senate Extortion Letter and Candids

Currency:USD Category:Collectibles / Autographs Start Price:NA Estimated At:15,000.00 - 20,000.00 USD
John F. Kennedy ‘Secret File’ Senate Extortion Letter and Candids

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Auction Date:2016 Jun 23 @ 18:00 (UTC-5 : EST/CDT)
Location:236 Commercial St., Suite 100, Boston, Massachusetts, 02109, United States
ALS - Autograph Letter Signed
ANS - Autograph Note Signed
AQS - Autograph Quotation Signed
AMQS - Autograph Musical Quotation Signed
DS - Document Signed
FDC - First Day Cover
Inscribed - “Personalized”
ISP - Inscribed Signed Photograph
LS - Letter Signed
SP - Signed Photograph
TLS - Typed Letter Signed
Material from Evelyn Lincoln’s ‘Secret JFK File’ concerning a extortion case concerning Kennedy’s alleged infidelity, including a letter of May 27, 1959, to Stuart Symington—JFK’s rival contending for the Democratic presidential nomination—with a candid snapshot of Kennedy in the street affixed to the upper left, with a typed caption beside it: “Here is Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, hand hiding his face, recently snapped when leaving his girlfriend’s place at 1 o’clock in the morning. She is a ‘glamour type’ employee of his. That’s a handkerchief in the senator’s right hand. In fact, everything’s there to see but a touch of greatness.” The letter forwards a copy of one sent out to reporters in an effort to smear Kennedy’s name. The body, in part: “We are sending this to you without the knowledge of the people involved because we feel that their lofty approach—sticking only to the job-threat angle—did not show the crumminess of Senator John F. Kennedy, the man who hopes to become the next President of the United States. In her letter to about thirty-five reporters (copy of which is attached) she didn’t tell the real reason for Senator Kennedy’s vengeful threat to take her husband’s job….The fact is, of course, that snapping Senator Kennedy’s picture at the scene of his tomcatting was the reason he threatened to take her husband’s job; and, failing that, it was the reason for sending the many-hatted Mr. McInerney around. The woman who took the picture is an Irish-Catholic who had been a warm supporter of Senator Kennedy. When she observed his spicy capers very first-hand she foolishly believed that, being a middle-aged Irish lad, he was dangerously out of his depth and needed some sort of shock treatment to admit it. But Senator Kennedy thought his behavior none of her business. We think he’s wrong there; it’s part of the package when you’re a public figure running for the Presidency. We have taken a poll of a hundred people. Ninety percent of them would not vote for a philanderer to head up the First Family.”

The letter forwarded, in part: “It may or may not be newsworthy that Senator Kennedy thinks it is all right to threaten to use his political power to take away a man’s job if that man has ‘annoyed’ him personally.” She goes on to describe a personal encounter with him in the street during what sounds like a stakeout: “Senator Kennedy spoke up and said: ‘I want you to stop bothering me. If you do it again, or if either of you spread any lies about me, you will find yourself without a job…If I find you here or any other place annoying me, you won’t have a job.’ All the while the Senator used his index finger for emphasis….My husband has been a salesman for the same company for the past twelve years. He calls on the Air Force, the Marine Corps and the Office of the Secretary of Defense…He just couldn’t be more vulnerable to political pressure.” Additionally included is a slightly different second candid photo of JFK taken only moments after the first, as well as a note from Clark Clifford, reading: “Dear Jack—As per our conversation. Regards, Cliff.” Includes an envelope addressed to Senator Kennedy marked “Personal and Confidential—Eyes Only.” In very good to fine condition. Provenance: Estate of Robert White.

While these letters are anonymous, the case in question revolves around a threat by Florence M. Kater and her husband Leonard to expose an alleged affair between Kennedy and his secretary Pamela Turnure. Florence Kater, Turnure’s landlady, had spotted Kennedy leaving her residence late at night and assumed he was up to no good. On July 11, 1958, at one o’clock in the morning, Leonard snapped these photographs of Kennedy leaving yet again. The Katers supposedly then attempted to blackmail Kennedy by demanding a Modigliani painting in exchange for suppressing the story. Kennedy refused to buy their silence, and Florence Kater responded by launching a one-woman campaign to bring attention to Kennedy’s infidelity, beginning by sending a letter and the photos to fifty or so reporters. Despite the potential for juicy headlines, none of the newspapers ran with the story except for an innocuous mention in the Washington Star; between the uncertain circumstances of the photographs—they do not provide indisputable evidence of an affair—and the fact that many editors liked JFK, Kater’s efforts were ignored. Overall, this grouping represents the ultimate in JFK intrigue—the intersection of dirty campaign politics, Kennedy’s famed intimate personal life, and the way he was treated by the media.