Signed book: Profiles in Courage. Later printing. NY: Harper & Brothers, 1956. Hardcover with dust jacket, 6 x 8.75, 266 pages. Signed and inscribed on an off-white 5.5 x 8.25 sheet originally tipped in before the title page in bold black ink, “White House, For Mark Duffy—with warmest regards, John F. Kennedy, January 1962.” Autographic condition: light soiling to lower right corner, brushing to latter portion of the inscription (as noted in Evelyn Lincoln’s letter), and show-through from adhesive to reverse of left edge resulting from the now fully detached signed page originally being tipped in, otherwise fine condition; overall presentability and boldness of the writing remains unaffected. Book condition: VG-/VG-.
Accompanied by two letters of provenance concerning the autographed sheet, one from Presidential Secretary Evelyn Lincoln to executive vice president of Harper & Brothers Evan Thomas, and the second from Thomas to Joseph Duffy of American Booksellers Association, in part: “The President responded with both speed and grace to our request for an autographed sheet to tip into Mark’s copy of Profiles in Courage…The inscription arrived a bit smudged by the Presidential hand, but I guess this will add to its historicity.” Also accompanied by a mimeographed letter bearing a facsimile signature from President Kennedy addressed to Mother Marion Duffy, “Ethel Kennedy has told me of your recent letter and your kind remarks concerning the Alliance for Progress. I want you to know how much I appreciate your interest and your thoughtfulness in sending these comments along to Ethel.”
As student director at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, an all-girls school in Bronx’s Maplehurst neighborhood, Sister Marion Duffy served as an important matriarchal figure for America’s royal family. To date, five Kennedy women—including Bobby’s wife Ethel—are alumnae. Given JFK’s faith and familial ties to Sacred Heart, this book serves as an uncommon associative piece relative to his own religious convictions as our first Catholic president. The extensive background correspondence and rare presidential inscription, “White House, January 1962,” considerably bolster this book’s overall desirability. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
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