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Item 38 - John F. Kennedy: Abe Zapruder Personally Owned Book Catalog 555 (May 2019)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Estimate: $600.00 +
Sold Price: $1,110.00 (includes buyer's premium)


Signed book: The Death of a President by William Manchester. First edition. NY: Harper & Row, 1967. Hardcover with dust jacket, 6.5 x 9.5, 710 pages. Signed and inscribed on the half-title page in black felt tip, "For Abe Zapruder—With gratitude and warmest regards—Wm. Manchester, 13.III.67." Includes the original Harper & Row "compliments" card, noting, "At the Author's request"; the Harper & Row advance copy notice card; and an envelope panel addressed to Zapruder's assistant Lillian Rogers (presumably by his widow), postmarked at Dallas on November 24, 1970. In fine condition, with a small area of toning at the bottom of the signed page, and some light wear and small edge tears to the dust jacket. According to the book's index, Zapruder is mentioned more than a dozen times.

Accompanied by a letter of provenance from the son of Lillian Rogers, in part: "My mother, deceased, Lillian Rogers worked for Abaraham Zapruder at the time of the JFK assassination…On that day she urged Mr. Zapruder to go back to his home and get his movie camera which he did and the rest is history. She always felt that her legacy was that if she had not persuaded Mr. Zapruder to get his camera the world would probably not know much about the event. I acquired the copy of the book 'The Death of a President' signed by the author as part of my mother's estate…I had seen it once before she died and she told me Mr. Zapruder had given it to her."

Historian William Manchester was one of few authors that Jacqueline Kennedy personally approved to write about her husband's death. She and Robert F. Kennedy sat for hours of exclusive interviews during Manchester's research phase, and ultimately held veto power over the final manuscript. The book gained public attention over the Kennedy family's initial objections to some of the contents, which Manchester ultimately agreed to delete before publication. The work went on to win the Dag Hammarskjold International Literary Prize, and by 1970 had earned $1 million in royalties which were donated to the Kennedy Library. Zapruder items are rare and very seldom come to auction, and this volume inscribed to him stands as a remarkable Kennedy assassination association piece.

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