ALS as president, one page, 7 x 10.5, White House letterhead, April 3, 1979. Warm letter to his brother Billy, who was undergoing treatment for alcoholism at the National Naval Medical Center. In full: “I’ll call you also, but wanted to give you my response to your question regarding a visit to Libya in the near future. It would create severe problems for us because of their threats against Sadat and because they are fighting in Uganda for Idi Amin. I just got you on the phone and am glad to know that you’re still doing so well. I’ll see Jack McGregor when he comes to the White House this week. All of us are very proud of you, & particularly your brother! You’ve had a rough time lately, I know, but you’ve really come through it with a lot of courage. Call me whenever I can help. I love you.” In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope and a letter from Billy Carter from the time it was originally sold. Autograph letters from the Carter White House are scarce.
The president’s boisterous younger brother had emerged as a national celebrity during the 1976 campaign for his sometimes outrageous antics. Cast as a hard-drinking good ol’ boy Southerner, Carter famously endorsed ‘Billy Beer’ in one of his failed business ventures. Billy came under further scrutiny when he visited Libya three times in 1978 and 1979 in order to broker an oil deal. He eventually registered as a foreign agent of the Libyan government and received a $220,000 loan. This led to a Senate investigation into alleged influence peddling, and ‘Billygate’ cast a shadow over Carter’s 1980 reelection campaign. An intensely personal letter with important political and familial content.
Ex. Christie’s, October 16, 1996; sale 8490, lot 9. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.