Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    John F. Kennedy & Adlai Stevenson: An Inscribed Presentation Copy from JFK's Personal Library. In February 1956, former Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson was the titular leader of the Democratic Party. He had been the party's unsuccessful presidential nominee against Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, and would again be their standard-bearer (with no better luck) in 1956.

    He presented this compilation of his political speeches to the young Massachusetts senator with a rather enigmatic inscription: "For Jack Kennedy-to an author with the admiration of a politician-Adlai E. Stevenson 2/26/56."
    JFK had taken a leave of absence from the Senate in 1954 to write his best-selling book Profiles in Courage, which would win him a Pulitzer Prize in 1957. Was Stevenson's inscription a sincere compliment? Certainly his self-abasing description of himself as a "politician" is suspect, because he was among the most literate of all presidential candidates and an author in his own right. It was already well known that young Kennedy harbored big political ambitions (as did his father on his behalf), and perhaps, with the Democratic nominating convention just months away, Stevenson was firing a shot across JFK's bow-suggesting that perhaps he should stick to authoring and not tangle with the veteran Stevenson in party politics.

    At any rate, it is a delightful message between two of the leading politicians of the day. After winning the presidency, Kennedy would go on to appoint Adlai Stevenson as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

    This book was purchased by the consignor in the 1995 Sotheby's auction of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis estate, where it sold for $31,050.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 961

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 September 14 - 15 Americana & Political The David and Janice Frent Collection of Political & Presidential Americana 8 - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 November 10-11 The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana, Part IV - Dallas
    2018 November 10-11 The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana, Part IV - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $656,222