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Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy.

Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President, 1961 [1962, 1963].

Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1962-63-64 Stock Code: 135154
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From the library of Frank Sinatra

First editions, first printings. From the library of Frank Sinatra, his name in gilt to each front cover. An outstanding memorial to one of the most remarkable relationships in modern political history and the two men who stood at the nexus of glamour and power in mid-20th century America.

The relationship between the singer and JFK has been discussed in numerous books and articles, particularly with regard to purported Mafia connections and other piquant details. However, Sinatra biographer Kitty Kelley gives a succinct appraisal of their relationship: "Always a strong Democrat, Frank had idolized Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944 and contributed five thousand dollars to his campaign. He had supported Harry Truman in 1948 and had sung for Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956, but this time he was personally committed to the candidate in a way he had never been before. Jack Kennedy - young, brilliant, rich, and handsome - was an extraordinary man from an Irish-American dynasty, and his impact on Frank was remarkable. In turn, Jack Kennedy enjoyed his glamorous Hollywood romps with Sinatra, who personified the sleek, swinging, emancipated male who can do anything he wants and never pay the consequences" (His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra, Bantam Books, 1987, p. 291).

Sinatra had played a role in Kennedy's 1960 electiaon campaign, largely through the jukeboxes during the Wisconsin and West Virginia primaries, when "voters heard the smooth, insouciant Sinatra voice singing "High Hopes" with the lyric reworked by Sammy Cahn" (Kelley, p. 294). And the singer was, of course, the moving force behind the stellar pre-inauguration gala of 1961. In addition, Kennedy's sister Patricia was married to fellow Rat Packer Peter Lawford. There has also been the suggestion that The Voice introduced Marilyn Monroe to the Senator from Massachusetts but Monroe's acclaimed biographer Donald Spoto shows that this was not the case (Marilyn Monroe: The Biography, Cooper Square Press, 2001).

Despite a highly-publicised split with the Kennedys, Sinatra was deeply affected by the President's assassination in 1963, "for the first time in a long time, he went to church to pray... That November evening, Frank called the White House. He expressed his sympathy to Patricia Lawford, but did not speak with her husband, Peter. 'Frank was pretty broken up when he talked to Pat and would have given anything to come back to Washington for Jack's funeral, but it just wasn't possible to invite him,' said Lawford" (Kelley, p. 358).

The present set was bound by California Bookbinding, the Hollywood bindery of choice for many actors and entertainers, in what could be described as funereal black; Sinatra had used their services for scripts presented to his close friend Jilly Rizzo (see Heritage Music & Entertainment auction, 21-22 Feb., 2009). "The Public Papers of the Presidents, which is compiled and published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration, began in 1957 in response to a recommendation of the National Historical Publications Commission. Noting the lack of uniform compilations of messages and papers of the Presidents before this time, the Commission recommended the establishment of an official series in which Presidential writings, addresses, and remarks of a public nature could be made available" (National Archives of the United States, retrieved 28 August 2019).

This was lot 110 at the Sotheby's, New York, sale of 6 December 2018 (Lady Blue Eyes: Property of Barbara and Frank Sinatra).

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3 volumes, large octavo (247 x 170 mm). Contemporary black skiver by California Bookbinding (with their ticket), spines with four raised bands, gilt lettered direct, gilt arabesque in head and tail compartments, sides with single-line gilt border, black gloss surface paper endpapers.


Portrait frontispieces; titles with Great Seal of the United States printed in blue; printed in double columns.


A few patches of abrasion at extremities, some very light marking to covers. A very good set.


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