University Archives

Lot 106

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Gerald Ford TLS Regarding the Recently Opened Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

2pp typed letter signed by former 38th U.S. President Gerald Ford (1913-2006) as "Jerry Ford" near the top of the second page. On "Gerald R. Ford" letterhead complete with a gilt embossed presidential seal. Expected light paper folds, and two minor staple marks found along the left edge of the second page, else near fine. 7.25" x 10.5".

Former president Gerald Ford urged Philip Habib (1920-1992), the career diplomat, to consider donating his papers to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library at Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ford had donated political materials to the eponymous library after 1976, and it had officially opened in late April 1981. Ford noted that other officials of the Ford administration, such as Frank Zarb, his "Energy Czar", and Ron Nessen, his press secretary, had already consigned their papers to the archives. Would Philip Habib do the same? In his letter to Habib, Ford outlined quite convincingly the raison d'etre of presidential libraries: to provide a safe, accessible, professionally curated, and permanent repository for historical documents of incalculable value to scholars. It does not appear, however, that Habib donated his papers to the library! Philip Habib had joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1949; he eventually served in South Korea, South Vietnam, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Canada, New Zealand, and the Middle East. During the Ford administration, Habib had functioned as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (1974-1976) and then as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (1976-1978). In this last role, Habib had notably worked with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1977; his negotiations paved the way for Jimmy Carter's Camp David Accords. The New York Times eulogized Habib as "the outstanding professional diplomat of his generation in the United States."

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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August 19, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

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