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Lot 252

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Governor Reagan Chooses California Over VP Run

"I have no intention of exchanging the Governorship of Calif. for that position on anyone’s ticket."

California governor Ronald Reagan explains that he will not be a candidate for the vice presidency on any fusion ticket. In May 1968, he still hoped the Republican National Convention would reject Nixon in favor of him as its presidential candidate.

RONALD REAGAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Mrs. Carey Worth Stevenson, May 24, 1968. 1 p., 8ʺ x 12.5ʺ. Black line down and across text, likely added when it was typed; excellent. Ex. The Forbes Collection.

Complete Transcript:

Mrs. Carey Worth Stevenson
2357 San Clemente Rd.
Vista, Calif. 92083
Dear Mrs. Stevenson
This is just a line to thank you for your letter to Nancy (which she let me see) and your great kindness to me in your paper. You do me a great honor and I’m most grateful.
I believe the decision this time as to the nominee will be made at the convention. For anyone to inject himself into the race now as a campaigner could only be divisive.
Incidentally in case you’ve wondered about some of the V.P. rumors concerning me – they are totally without foundation. I have no intention of exchanging the Governorship of Calif. for that position on anyone’s ticket.
Again thanks

Historical Background:

The 1968 Republican National Convention was held at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Florida, from August 5 to 8. Richard M. Nixon won the nomination on the first ballot with 692 votes to 277 votes for Nelson Rockefeller, 182 votes for Ronald Reagan, and the rest scattered. Reagan received the votes of all 86 of California’s delegates, and votes from delegates in 17 other states.

Although some delegates hoped to unite Rockefeller’s supporters and Reagan’s to stop Nixon, Reagan steadfastly refused to settle for the vice-presidential spot.

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) was born in Illinois and graduated from Eureka College in 1932. After working as a radio announcer for several years, he took a screen test in 1937 that led to a contract with Warner Brothers Studios and an acting career in film and television. Reagan served as governor of California from 1967 to 1975. He won election over two-term incumbent Pat Brown. As governor, he opposed the idea of the welfare state and favored less government regulation of the economy. After an unsuccessful attempt to recall him in 1968, Reagan won reelection in 1970 for a second term. He did not seek reelection in 1974, but went on in 1976 to seek the Presidency. He narrowly lost the Republican nomination to incumbent Gerald Ford, but went on to win in 1980 over Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter to become the 40th President of the United States (1981-1989).

Josephine Opal Slater Stevenson (1908-1984) was born in Indiana. In the 1920s, she married Carey Worth Stevenson (1901-1988) a native of Alabama and a 1923 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. They had three children. In addition to earlier service, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1940 to 1946, with duty at the Navy Department in Washington, D.C. Both before and after World War II, they lived in California. In the 1950s, Stevenson published the magazine-style Vista News in Vista, California.

Ex. The Forbes Collection. Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990), American owner-publisher of Forbes magazine, and consummate collector, amassed one of the most substantial and broad collections of such breadth and depth that it filled a half-dozen residences, and sat on three continents. Many of his manuscripts were sold in multi-million-dollar sales by Christie's in the early 2000s. The Forbes name is considered to be the apex of provenance when attached to an item like the one above. We are honored to have been chosen by the family to sell at auction the substantial balance of the collection.

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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