University Archives

Lot 142

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John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s Signed Manhattan D.A.'s Office ID

The original signed identification card of John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1960-1999), confirming his appointment to the Manhattan District Attorney's office on August 21, 1989. Provenance: From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.

The badge features Kennedy's signature as "John Kennedy" along a vertical orientation at left, and a black and white bust photograph of Kennedy affixed at upper right. The card is partly printed and partly typed, while the photograph is partly embossed with the District Attorney's seal. Tucked within the original leather billfold behind a protective plastic screen. The soft inner flap of the billfold is gilt-embossed "District Attorney / New York County." Light toning and expected gentle wear to the paper and photo edges, else near fine. The sight size of the badge measures 5.625" x 3.25" while the billfold measures 6.25" x 4.125" x .25."

In full:

"District Attorney of the County of New York

This is to certify that John Kennedy whose signature and photograph appear hereon, has this day been regularly appointed Assistant District Attorney on the staff of the District Attorney of the County of New York.

Dated August 21, 1989

Robert M. Morgenthau
District Attorney."

Many can recall John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s multiple attempts to pass the bar exam, as it attracted significant media attention at the time. After failing the second time, JFK, Jr. famously vowed that he would continue taking the bar exam until he passed, up until the age of 95 if necessary.

An undergraduate of Brown University, JFK, Jr. graduated from New York University School of Law in 1989. The aspiring lawyer received negative publicity after twice failing the New York state bar exam, first in July 1989, and then in February 1990. He retook the grueling 2-day 12 1/2 hour-long exam for a third time in July 1990, when he finally passed. Eventually, JFK, Jr. was also authorized to practice law in Connecticut.

This third attempt at passing the New York state bar was JFK, Jr.'s last chance at keeping his position as Assistant District Attorney within the office of Robert Morgenthau, Manhattan District Attorney. An Assistant D.A. earned a $30,000 salary and possessed considerable prestige. JFK, Jr. worked within the Manhattan D.A.'s office for four years before resigning in the summer of 1993. He then dabbled in journalism, philanthropy, and acting before founding his splashy magazine "George" in 1995.

Robert Morgenthau (1919-2019), JFK, Jr.'s boss, served as Manhattan District Attorney between 1975-2009.

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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