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John F. Kennedy: A Pair of His World War II-Vintage Undershorts. ...

2011 Nov 30 - Dec 1 Americana & Political Memorabilia Signature Auction - Dallas #6066

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Auction Ended On: Nov 30, 2011
Item Activity: 6 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Live!, Internet, Fax, and Mail only Session
Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219

John F. Kennedy: A Pair of His World War II-Vintage Undershorts. Impeccable provenance accompanies this remarkable article of clothing. One of John Kennedy's closest friends was Torbert Macdonald, his roommate at Harvard and later a colleague when Macdonald served as a Democratic member of Congress from Massachusetts. Along with Democratic Congressman Ken Heckler, Macdonald was an active Kennedy operative during the 1960 West Virginia primary campaign, where JFK upset Hubert Humphrey and surged forward in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. According to intimate biographies, Macdonald was always part of Kennedy's inner circle, and one of the few friends with whom he could really "let his hair down." Macdonald was also JFK's roommate during his 1943 naval training at Melville, Rhode Island. It was during this period, according to longtime Macdonald intimate Eleanor Carney, that socks and underwear were laundered together and often exchanged between the two.

"Torby" Mcdonald's 1976 Boston Globe obituary dwells heavily on his close connection to JFK, declaring that "... everyone agrees that Macdonald was closer to Jack Kennedy than anybody else outside the family." After that awful day in Dallas he was quoted, "I feel like I've lost a brother instead of a President." According to Eleanor Carney, Macdonald probably knew more about JFK's unpublicized personal life than anyone else in his inner circle, yet he was the only one who never wrote a book or gave interviews offering "inside information" about the late president.

Carney, who had a close personal relationship with Macdonald in the last years of his life, received many Kennedy mementos from him, most of which she had disposed of over the years. Only recently did she come across this pair of undershorts among Macdonald's effects and noticed the "John F. Kennedy" label sewn into the waistband.

The pair is in excellent condition save for the slightest of age toning. They are accompanied by a detailed letter of provenance from Eleanor Carney, as well as various items documenting the close connection between Macdonald and Kennedy. Of special note are two original black and white glossy photos, one of a pre-World War II JFK and McDonald with their female escorts, taken aboard the Queen Mary, and the other showing a relaxed Kennedy in a straw hat sitting with McDonald on a yacht.

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