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Lot 138

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John F. Kennedy, Jr. ALS Written During South Pacific Vacation Alluding to JFK's PT-109 Shipwreck

An autograph letter signed by John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1960-1999) as "John" and containing over 100 words in his hand, found on the back of a postcard mailed from Palau. Provenance: From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.

A "Global Editions, Greetings from Planet Ocean" postcard postmarked from Koror, Palau, Micronesia on August 9, 1993. A color photograph of a scuba diver exploring a school of fish appears recto, and John, Jr.'s message inscribed in blue ink appears verso. A canceled Palau postage stamp appears at upper right. Expected transmittal weathering including light wear to the corners and edges. A postal smudge just touches the "n" of "John." Else near fine. 6" x 4."

John F. Kennedy, Jr. vacationed in Asia with actress Daryl Hannah in August 1993, just one month after he resigned from his job as Assistant District Attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. After leaving Palau, the couple traveled to Hong Kong and later Vietnam. Tabloids speculated that the pair planned to marry, though John, Jr. denied the rumors. (The attached photo shows John, Jr. and Daryl Hannah in swimsuits strolling along a beach in Palau during this trip.)

The letter is reproduced in full, with original spelling and punctuation. JFK, Jr.'s deadpan humor is on full display in almost every sentence.

"Dear Kevin, Jim. B. and ragan,

I feel a little guilty writing this while N.Y.C. shimmers in the summer heat and Rick Costello prowls the halls But its pretty bitchin and I thought you should know. Im in Palau in the South Pacific scuba diving and exploring the battlefields of WWII Lots of Japanese but I watch my back.

One whole week he [concealed by postage stamp; almost certainly referring to Daryl Hannah] and I haven't killed her. Only kidding Kevin. I'll let you be the first. Then on to Vietnam. Please tell all who ask that Ive decided to become a flight attendant.

See ya - Love John.

Mr Kevin Hynes et al.
One Hogan Place 6th Flr.
New York, N.Y. 10013

In the letter, John, Jr. refers to visiting Pacific Ocean battlefields in the same sentence that he remarks that he avoids Japanese. This was a veiled reference to his father's World War II experience as commander of the PT-109, a torpedo boat rammed and sunk by the Japanese destroyer "Amagiri" on August 2, 1943, roughly 2,100 miles to the southeast of Palau in the waters off the Solomon Islands. JFK and other PT-109 survivors were eventually rescued on August 8, 1943, fifty years almost to the day that this letter was postmarked.

Kevin J. Hynes, a New York lawyer, was a close friend of Kennedy's who would serve as an usher at his memorial service in July 1999.

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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