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Lot #474
Charles Lindbergh

An overwhelmed Lindbergh begs out of an Air Force appointment: "I have tried to avoid contact with the modern Press, so I can travel, think, and work effectively"

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An overwhelmed Lindbergh begs out of an Air Force appointment: "I have tried to avoid contact with the modern Press, so I can travel, think, and work effectively"

Interesting ALS signed "Charles," five pages, 5.5 x 8.25, March 11, 1956. Lindbergh, aboard an Eastern Airlines flight from New York to Orlando, writes to Lt. General Emmett O'Donnell, Deputy Chief of Staff of Personnel of the Air Force. The letter, which Lindbergh heads "Confidential and personal," reads, in part: "The necessity of getting income-tax data off ... is responsible for this delayed reply to your letter about my appointment to the Board of Visitors at the Air Academy. Frankly, I am in a quandary. I am most anxious to support the interests of the Air Force in every way I can; but I am already overcommitted and I do not see how I can devote the time to the Board of Visitors that would be a proper obligation for someone holding that office-this is all the more true because I have little background and experience in the academic field.... I am sure you are aware of the slip that was made in awarding the appointments and making the announcement before the men who were awarded the honor of being recommended for the position were contacted. In my own case, the situation is complicated by the fact that I have laid plans to be abroad a large part of the time during the next several months, in connection with Pan American Airways activities and with writing projects....I am not in a position to serve adequately on the Board, and I do not want to embarrass anyone because of the very understandable error which was made in connection with my appointment.... And there is another complication; for years I have tried to avoid contact with the modern Press, so I can travel, think, and work, effectively. I have, at least, achieved a reasonable degree of success in this endeavor, and I do not want to take on work which involves contact with photographers and reporters." Next to his signature, Lindbergh prints his name in full, adding his address in Darien, Connecticut. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope addressed by Lindbergh that includes the notation "Personal from C.A.L." In fine condition, with file holes at left edges (associated tiny tears, neatly repaired from reverse) affecting a few words.

Although Lindbergh was a member of the committee organized to establish the site for the Air Force Academy (which enrolled its first students in 1955), his busy professional life thereafter limited his involvement. In fact, his devotion to his airline career at the time he penned his letter was of some consequence to both his literary legacy and personal life. His allusion to unrealized writing projects is of particular significance; though he had won the Pulitzer Prize a few years earlier for his best-selling memoir The Spirit of St. Louis, it took him seventeen years to produce his next book, a collection of his wartime journals published in 1970. Lindbergh's demanding schedule also placed a strain on his marriage; according to biographer A. Scott Berg, it was in the year of this letter that Lindbergh's wife, Anne, embarked on an affair with her physician. An extremely fresh example! Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RRAuction COA.

Auction Info

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  • Dates: #368 - Ended March 09, 2011

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