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Lot #307
Eliot Ness

Ness gets a break from high-profile criminal cases to sign a press pass for pianist Arthur Loesser

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Ness gets a break from high-profile criminal cases to sign a press pass for pianist Arthur Loesser

City of Cleveland press identification card issued to Arthur Loesser, 4 x 3, with a clipped snapshot of Loesser stapled to the right side, stating Loesser “of the Cleveland Press may be passed through police and fire lines.” Signed by Ness as the Director of Public Safety, and countersigned by the Cleveland Chief of Police. Mayor Edward Blythin’s name has been crossed out in type with Frank J. Lausche’s name typed above. Double-matted and framed with a photo of Ness at his desk to an overall size of 10 x 16. In very good condition, with horizontal creases, one lightly passing through portions of Ness’s signature, a bit of scattered light toning, and a typed notation to top edge.

After helping put Al Capone behind bars, Eliot Ness moved to Cleveland where he was appointed Director of Public Safety in 1935, overseeing both the police and fire departments. At that time, the city was wrapped up in a string of grisly murders known as the ‘Torso Murders,’ which continued through 1938. The cases were never solved and cast a dark cloud over Ness’s otherwise remarkable career, contributing to his decision to resign in 1942. This pass, undated but likely issued in 1941–42 (the only years in which Ness and Mayor Frank J. Lausche’s careers overlapped), gave press access to the well-known pianist and writer Arthur Loesser. A member of the Cleveland Institute of Music faculty, Loesser reviewed performances and wrote program notes for the Cleveland Orchestra. After the intense and remarkable events of his law enforcement career—from Capone’s arrest to the ‘Torso Murders’—Ness must have appreciated the mundane duty of signing a Press Pass for a quiet and well-respected musician. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Rare Manuscript, Document & Autograph
  • Dates: #436 - Ended September 10, 2014

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
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