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Lot 141

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John F. Kennedy, Jr. ALS as 18-Year-Old Legal Intern

A 1p autograph letter signed by John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1960-1999) as "John Kennedy" at lower right, accompanied by the original transmittal envelope also engrossed by him. The undated letter is stamp docketed "Received Apr 23 1979" in the upper right corner, and the envelope was postmarked from Lawrence, Massachusetts on April 20, 1979. Expected folds, else near fine. 7.125" x 10.25." The envelope, bearing eight Frank Lloyd Wright 2-cent cancelled stamps, has a pre-printed return address in Saint Martin that has been crossed out. Letter-opened at top and a unevenly toned. Provenance: From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.

John F. Kennedy, Jr., then a senior at Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, began an unpaid internship at the Boston Juvenile Court in January 1979. At the conclusion of the experience, he wrote this thank you letter to Judge Roderick L. Ireland (born 1944), a judge who served on the bench of the Boston Juvenile Court between 1977-1990.

In full, with unchanged spelling and punctuation but with paragraph breaks added for improved legibility:

"Dear Judge Ireland.

I would just like to thank you for being so enthusiastic and engaging to me during my internship at the courthouse. I suppose I saw more of your sessions than anyone else's and they always proved to be extremely worthwhile.

When I could remove myself emotionally from the courtroom proceedings I learned a great deal about which programs in the state are directed towards which problems and what criterias you follow to base your findings. Towards the end when I became fairly familiar with the court structure I began to try and place myself in your position, trying to determine for myself the proper judicial responses after assimilating all the facts.

Thank you once again for always making it interesting.


John Kennedy."

John F. Kennedy, Jr. went on to graduate with a history degree from Brown University in 1983. He received a law degree from New York University School of Law in 1989 and passed his New York state bar exam in July 1990. He served as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan's District Attorney's office between 1989-1993.

Judge Ireland later served as an Associate Justice and Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, the first African-American jurist to ever do so.

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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