Rather Disturbing Peter Lawford Letter... Written to John F. Kennedy in 1984! A most unusual autograph letter signed "PL," two pages, 8.5" x 10.75", on yellow lined paper, [Rancho Mirage, California], January 4, 1984. Written in the last year of his life and during his five month stay at the Betty Ford Clinic, a depressed Lawford writes to his deceased friend and one-time in-law, John F. Kennedy. In full: "My dear Jack - Just a line to let you know how things are going here. A lot of the same that you left behind - Bureaucracy, bullshit and a President who can taste that second term in office so badly that he has created this false economy in which we are existing - and the poor people are believing it! I can't wait for the deficits to start falling in on him and his 'Kitchen' group! and that's where they belong. Enough of that dreary stuff. I have managed to drink myself into the B[etty] F[ord] C[enter]. My liver drove me down and here we are - it's a very pretty Stalag 17 which is supposed to help one back to the world of sobriety. I must say they do this best and I'm sure it's helped me. You, my friend would hate it - not a pretty girl within miles and, every time you turn around you trip over someone's ego or someone exercising an authoritarian spasm. Here they call it therapy. A lot of my friends are very nice and great fun, but a lot of them are totally boring and suck along 'T.T.S.' That is enough about me -- What about you ? I know your [sic] having a good time. You always do. Are you Pres. of anything? A garden club or bowling team perhaps! You must be running something. Knowing you. Jackie is terrific -- spent a lot of time with her at Sydney's wedding. How are Marilyn, Bobby, Rubirosa? Give them my love -- If you should run into Steve McQueen or Vic Morrow give them my best. Well that ís about it for now. Believe me, you are sorely missed here and, around the world if I may say so. All the kids send their love -- Let us hear from you soon Take Care of you -- PL." Lawford was, of course, married for a time to Kennedy's sister Patricia, and moved easily both in the social milieus of the Kennedy clan in Palm Beach and the Sinatra clique in Palm Springs. After John Kennedy's assassination in 1963, however, Lawford went into a personal tailspin: his marriage to Patricia Kennedy ended in divorce in 1966; two subsequent marriages fizzled; and his film career went into steady decline. In later years he became reclusive and drank heavily. Jack Kennedy and Lawford got on famously, the latter hosting the noted Madison Square Garden 1962 birthday gala in which their mutual friend Marilyn Monroe sang her sultry "Happy Birthday Mr. President." Lawford checked into the Betty Ford Clinic after his close friend Elizabeth Taylor checked in herself. He left five months later, but soon found that he suffered from a bleeding duodenal ulcer. During a brief attempt at a comeback with a minor television role, he began drinking again. He went to the hospital suffering from liver and kidney problems and slipped into a coma. He died on Christmas Eve, 1984. This letter was extensively quoted in his widow's biography of Lawford, The Peter Lawford Story: Life with the Kennedys, Monroe and the Rat Pack (1988). Boldly penned and in excellent condition. A troubling, important missive. Accompanied by COA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2005
    13th Wednesday
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