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Lot 142

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Evelyn Lincoln, JFK's Secretary, on Affair with Judith Campbell, Mafia Connections, & Church Committee

3pp typed statement signed by Evelyn Lincoln (1909-1995), the longtime personal secretary of 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), as "Evelyn Lincoln" at the top of the third page. Dated December 19, 1975. Typed on three sheets of mottled cream paper with rounded corners. Triple hole-punched at left. Several typos and typographical edits can be found throughout. Else near fine. 8.5" x 11." Accompanied by an embossed Certificate of Authenticity signed by Universal Autograph Collectors' Club member Erik L. Dorr testifying that Lincoln letter was once part of the Robert L. White Museum Collection. Provenance: From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist; Ex-Robert L. White Museum Collection.

In this statement, Evelyn Lincoln categorially rejects claims that Kennedy had had an affair with a campaign staffer named Judith Campbell, later Exner (1934-1999). Determining the extent of their alleged relationship was more important than providing fodder for scandal sheets; it could also point to Campbell's connections with the American mafia, and possibly implicate JFK in intelligence community plots to assassinate Fidel Castro, among other world leaders.

Both Lincoln and Campbell were examined by the Church Committee, a U.S. Senate select committee created in January 1975 to investigate the performance of intelligence agencies during the last three decades. Church Committee members were primarily interested in discovering if JFK knew about such assassination plots. The probe explored theories that Campbell served as a liaison between JFK and Chicago mobster Sam Giancana; that the CIA considered using the mob to assassinate Communist dictators; and how much, if at all, JFK knew about these plots. The Church Committee Reports were published in April 1976.

In part, with untouched spelling, punctuation, and typographical errors:

"In October the Chruch Committee contacted me…to talk to me about something that dealt with their investigations…

Kennedy met Judith Campbell during the Presidential campaign out in California in 1960. She was a campaign worker - just like many, many other young girls who were attracted by him…

The staff members were satisfied that I knew nothing about Judith Campbell's connection with the Mafia leaders - nor whether she was a stalking horse for them…

I was surprised over what Judith Campbell said at her press conference because she said that she had visited the President and had had lunch with him at least 20 times and that he had called her more times than she could remember. My records can not substantiate these assertions…There was absolutely no way that she could come in the White House without a record having been made of her entrance and I know that he would have discussed with me her coming to have lunch with him…

As far as I am concerned Judith Campbell is motivated by something else rather than trying to set her record straight about her dealings with the Mafia and what she might have told the President. This is an opportunity for her to get national publicity…"

Campbell was eventually subpoenaed and testified before the Church Committee in 1975. This, along with her memoir, "Judith Exner: My Story" (New York: Grove Press, 1977) thrust her into the national spotlight, just as Lincoln claimed she wanted. Lincoln was just one major Kennedy-era White House staffer who discredited Campbell's claims. David Powers (1912-1998), (mentioned in Lincoln's statement as "Dave Powers") served as Special Assistant to JFK and roundly denied them.

Evelyn Lincoln served as JFK's personal secretary for over a decade, beginning when the politician was a Senator from Massachusetts, and until his assassination in Dallas in 1963. Lincoln recalled her experiences working for JFK in "My Twelve Years with John F. Kennedy" (New York: David McKay Company, 1965). Robert L. White of Catonsville, Maryland, a major JFK collector, acquired many pieces directly from Evelyn Lincoln, who had sold or given away Kennedy documents and personal effects in direct violation of the Kennedy estate's 1965 deed of gift.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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