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    Description

    "Franklin D. Roosevelt Ph. D" pokes fun at Thomas Dewey's mustache!

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as President.
    -December 8, 1944. Warm Springs, Georgia. One page. 5" x 8". White House Stationery.
    -To: Harry L. Hopkins, Washington, D.C.
    -Folds, corner crease and staple residue, else very good.

    A frisky FDR writes "Dear Dr. Hopkins: I understand from some friends in Meriwether County, Georgia, that you are an expert face lifter and dermatologist. It has also come to my attention that a gentleman with a mustache would like to shave it but does not dare find out what is underneath. Perhaps you can help him. It would be a pity to have him go through life not knowing what is underneath. As ever yours, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ph.D." Cruising towards his historic, yet short-lived, fourth term, FDR pokes fun at Thomas Dewey, November's defeated Republican candidate for president. This is a very rare example of Presidential Humor.


    More Information:

    The extended description below was supplied by the consignor. We are making it available to our web bidders who are interested in more in-depth research and broader historical perspective. Please note that presentation (i.e. framing), lot divisions, and interpretations of condition and content may occasionally differ from our descriptions. Assertions of fact and subjective observations contained in this description represent the opinion of the consignor. These remarks have not been checked for accuracy by Heritage Auctions, and we assume no responsibility for their accuracy; they are offered purely to allow the bidder insight into the way the consignor has viewed the item(s) in question. No right of return or claim of lack of authenticity or provenance based upon this extended description will be granted.

     

    An extremely rare and interesting typed letter signed "Franklin D. Roosevelt," Washington, D.C., from Warm Springs, Georgia, December 8, 1944, 8vo, on The White House Washington letterhead, to FDR's key advisor and friend Harry L. Hopkins, at The White House, to whom he writes as "Dr. Harry L. Hopkins" and signs his own name "Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ph.D." FDR has some fun at the expense of his campaign opponent of the previous month, Republican Thomas E. Dewey, whom FDR defeated to win his historic fourth election as President of the United States. FDR was also more than disenchanted with the negative campaign run by Dewey and his staff in World War II. As such, FDR did not have fond feelings for Governor Dewey, as this letter to Hopkins makes clear. FDR writes: "Dear Dr. Hopkins: –/ I understand from some friends in Meriwether County, Georgia, that you are an expert face lifter and dermatologist. It has also come to my attention that a gentleman with a mustache would like to shave it but does not dare find out what is underneath. Perhaps you can help him. It would be a pity to have him go through life not knowing what is underneath./ As ever yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ph.D." Hopkins had passed along a letter that columnist Walter Winchell received from one of his readers, also included in this Harry L. Hopkins collection, a woman who claimed she was a childhood schoolmate of Dewey. According to this schoolmate of Dewey's, who was residing in Hollywood, California in October, 1944 when this letter was written and sent to Winchell, Dewey wore a mustache to cover a scar on his lip which he got when a boy socked him in the mouth for insulting another girl in their class! Winchell sent along this letter to Hopkins, even though Dewey's classmate asked to keep her name confidential in this letter itself. Hopkins sends the letter from Winchell, along with a memorandum dated December 6, 1944, to FDR in Warm Springs, Georgia: "Dear Mr. President:/ You will be amused at this letter which I got from Walter Winchell yesterday./ H.L.H./ encl. copy." Thomas E. Dewey as FDR's bitterest opponent in any of the four Presidential contests he waged. The rackets-busting former New York City Prosecutor and three-time incumbent President of the United States really disliked each other. Thomas Edmund Dewey (1902–1971) also served as Governor of New York (1943–1955). He was born in Owosso, Michigan. Admitted to the bar in 1925, Dewey practiced law and in 1931 became Chief Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. After briefly serving in 1933 as United States Attorney, he was appointed special prosecutor in 1935 to investigate organized crime and was elected District Attorney of New York County in 1937. He won a national reputation for "racket-busting." He was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for Governor of New York in 1938, but was elected Governor in 1942. In 1944 he won the Republican Presidential nomination, but he lost the election to FDR, although he attacked FDR more vigorously than any of the President's previous opponents, referring to FDR and his key advisors, such as Harry L. Hopkins, as "tired old men." FDR was outraged at Dewey's tactics, and the President started referring to the diminutive Dewey as "the little man," or more directly "the son of a bitch." Re-elected Governor of New York in 1946, Dewey again ran for President on the Republican ticket in 1948 and, contrary to general expectation, lost the election to Harry S. Truman by a close margin. He was re-elected Governor of New York in 1950, and resumed private law practice on completion of his term in 1955. As FDR's letter to Hopkins makes clear, his contempt for Dewey continued even after vanquishing him in the November, 1944 Presidential election, and he shows his dislike for Dewey using that famous Roosevelt wit and charm. This is a very rare, fabulous, and humorous letter with accompanying documents, between FDR and his key advisor and friend Harry L. Hopkins, written in FDR's last months.



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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
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