Signed book: Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States, from George Washington 1789 to John F. Kennedy 1961. One of 85 specially bound copies. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1961. Personalized leather-bound hardcover (small gilt Presidential seal on front cover, with “J. B. W.” initials to lower right corner), 6 x 9.25, 270 pages. Signed and inscribed on an opening page in blue ballpoint, “For J. B. West—The President was going to give you this for Christmas—Please accept it now from me—With deepest appreciation for all you did to make so happy our brief White House years, Jacqueline Kennedy, December 1963.” Housed in an attractive custom-made morocco leather clamshell presentation case. Autographic condition: fine. Book condition: VG/None, with a few dings and scratches to the leather covers, and sunning to the spine and front board; although it has the appearance of a re-cased or restored binding, this seems to have been the manner in which it was issued, perhaps due to the custom gilt-stamping. Provenance: Estate of J. B. West.
Considered by Jackie Kennedy as ‘one of the most extraordinary men’ she had ever met, West was the Chief Usher of the White House for twenty-eight years, serving for six consecutive presidencies—from Franklin Roosevelt to Richard Nixon. Hired in 1941, West started as assistant usher before assuming the role of chief, a position he held until his retirement in 1969. Directing a staff of more than 100, West coordinated state functions, planned parties, weddings and funerals, gardens and playgrounds, and extensive renovations. In 1973, with Mary Lynn Kotz, he wrote the best-selling book, Upstairs at the White House.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.