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DescriptionJohn F. Kennedy: One of the Very Best - and Most Delightful - JFK Signed Photographs, with Humorous Inscription to Barry Goldwater. Among his many talents, 1964 GOP presidential candidate and longtime U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater was an avid photographer. This black-and-white 8" x 10" image is an original photograph taken by Goldwater, and to our knowledge is unpublished. Across the bottom is a bold inscription written in black ink by JFK: "For Barry Goldwater - Whom I urge to follow the career for which he has shown such talent - photography! - from his friend - John Kennedy." The inscription typifies the collegial camaraderie which existed between the two, who served together in the senate. The banter belied a serious rivalry however; it was widely presumed that they would face-off in the 1964 presidential election.
Kennedy's quip has become a classic of American political humor after it was made famous by humorist Bennett Cerf. Goldwater wrote in his book People and Places (Random House, 1967):
"When it was suggested that Bennett Cerf might be interested in seeing some of my photographs with the thought of a possible book, I took from the wall of my study one of my favorite ones and included it with the others. This was done, not because of the photograph itself but because, knowing Mr. Cerf's boundless sense of humor, I was sure the inscription would tickle him as it has everyone who has seen it.
"One day, as was his custom, President Kennedy asked several of his former congressional colleagues to stop by the White House after work for a drink and a visit. My camera just happened to be in my car, so I carried it into the White House. I took candid pictures of a number of fellow congressmen and then approached the President with a request to photograph him. He agreed, and the result has been a prized possession ever since. I believe that this picture shows more of the real person I knew, particularly his keen wit, than many others more carefully posed. The wit and humor come through even more with this inscription, with which I agree, even though I disagreed occasionally with his politics."
Goldwater displayed this photo proudly for the rest of his life, and it was subsequently obtained from his estate. One would be hard-pressed even to imagine, let alone come to possess, a more exciting Kennedy signed photo. Beautiful near mint condition.
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