JFK doodles made on eve of assassination auctioned for more than $34,000


Over 40 items linked to former President John F. Kennedy, who would have been 107 on May 29, brought top dollar at an auction held to commemorate his legacy and birthday.

Boston-based RR Auction told Secrets today that the highest bid came for doodles the 35th president made on the night before his assassination in Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963.

The drawings and random thoughts, written clearly in pencil on Rice Hotel stationery, sold for $34,504.

John F. Kennedy Handwritten Notes and Doodles from Houston’s Rice Hotel on November 21, 1963. Photo courtesy RR Auction.

“Kennedy’s handwriting remains highly coveted by presidential collectors, with examples deriving from his last night alive being part of an elusive and ever-shrinking group,” said Bobby Livingston, RR Auction executive vice president.

Kennedy was staying at the hotel in Fort Worth while in Texas for events.

RR Auction described the document this way: “The document, written in pencil on an off-white sheet, contains various notations likely made during a telephone conversation. It includes references to the year ‘1963,’ numerical notes like ‘10 thousand tons’ and ‘50 or 60 %,’ a noted time of ‘11:45,’ and the surname ‘Smith’ mentioned twice — possibly referring to Stephen E. Smith, Kennedy’s brother-in-law and campaign strategist. The page also showcases Kennedy’s familiar doodles, including underlines, boxes, and an arrow.”


Other items sold at this week’s auction included Kennedy’s inaugural address book presented to the chief of White House police. It went for $26,575. Also, a presidential seal flag that Kennedy signed and presented to the commander of the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. sold for $16,643.

One other top seller was former President George Washington’s signed and handwritten ledger. It went for $46,279.

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