J. WALTER KENNEDY - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 10/06/1961 - HFSID 31830
J. WALTER KENNEDY
The future NBA commissioner writes letter of thanks to friend, New York columnist Louie Sobol, thanking him for mentioning him in his recent article, signs name in blue ink
Typed letter signed: "Walter" in blue ink. 1 page, 8½x11. Written on personal Mayor of Stamford, Connecticut letterhead, featuring the city's seal in top margin. Stamford, Connecticut. October 6, 1961. Addressed to Mr. Louis Sobol of New York City, New York. In full: "When the time comes for me to write my autobiography, in the same manner as Eisenhower and Truman, I look forward to having you as my biographer because you certainly are making me famous! Last Friday night I went to Bear Mountain Inn to spend the evening and next day. Although I had the Journal American in my pocket to read after I got to bed, I was not aware that you had mentioned my name in the column that night. Upon arrival at the Inn, I was introduced to a man who was hosting a dinner for some N.Y.A.C. executives, He bellowed "Hi, fellers, this is the Mayor Kennedy that was mentioned in Sobol's column tonight - remember our talking about it? Naturally I became a BIG MAN immediately. The next day, I was easing into a parking space outside Michie's Stadium at West Point and a man, who had just gotten out of a car parked car next to me, was looking at the Mayor's shield on the front of my car as I came to a stop. When I got out he said "Hello, Mr. Kennedy, are you going to be re-elected this year?" I greeted him kindly because I thought he was a constituent but when I asked whether he was from Stamford he said "No. I am from Newburgh, N.Y., but when I saw that you were Mayor Kennedy because I read about you in Mr. Sobol's column last night." I am glad to know from these incidents...and from further comments from others, that you have so many readers and that I have so many admirers!...Many thanks for thinking of me and for your many courtesies in the past in a similar vein. Warm personal regards to you and Peggy. Cordially". J. Walter Kennedy (1912-1977) was best known as the commissioner of the National Basketball Association from 1963-1975. Early in life, Kennedy was struck with polio which left him with a disability that made it impossible to compete in sports; however, he grew into an avid fan and spent the rest of his life dedicated to sports. He was elected mayor of his hometown of Stamford in 1959 before the NBA elected him president in 1963. Kennedy worked hard to compete with the more popular American Basketball League, he increased the amount of teams in the league and landed a stellar television contract with improved the league's financial standing by increasing income by 200%. He was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981, as well as established the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award to the NBA player or coach with outstanding service and dedication to the community. Normal mailing folds. Toned. Light surface creases. Corners creased. Slightly soiled. Ink spots throughout. Otherwise, fine condition.
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