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JOSEPH P. KENNEDY SR. - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 08/22/1952 - HFSID 293233

JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JFK's father, who had aspired to the Presidency himself, warns his sister that Dwight Eisenhower, if elected, would become a dictator. Written during son John's first campaign for the US Senate. Typed Letter signed: "Joe", 2 pages (front and verso), 7¼x10½.

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JOSEPH P. KENNEDY
JFK's father, who had aspired to the Presidency himself, warns his sister that Dwight Eisenhower, if elected, would become a dictator. Written during son John's first campaign for the US Senate.
Typed Letter signed: "Joe", 2 pages (front and verso), 7¼x10½. Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, 1952 August 22. On personal letterhead to "Dear Loretta" [his sister, Loretta Connelly]. In full: "First of all I must confess that I woke up too late to the fact that I did not send you any word on your birthday on the tenth sixth of August. I am afraid I am not as thoughtful as you and I don't keep notes of birthdays and other special events. In fact, I am ashamed to say I forgot to send a cable to Rose on her birthday last month. Maybe it's old age, but I am choosing to blame it on the excitement of the campaign. As late as it is, you have my best wishes always for many happy returns! Now as to the political situation, it is definitely Governor Stevenson. He is a great friend of the family and is a remarkably smart fellow. He doesn't see eye to eye with me at all on foreign policy but you can't get a candidate who agrees with you on everything, and the last thing I want is Eisenhower. In the first place, I don't want a military man as President. All the countries that have military men swing into dictatorship pretty soon afterwards - for example, Franco, Peron in Argentina, now the general in Egypt, and you could go on like this forever. In addition to that, these fellows have no plan to stop the trend toward Socialism. Eisenhower has already come out for increasing social security, so it is just a fake. The Korean War must be stopped, but they were all responsible for getting us into it and there's no way they can get us out of it that I can see. Certainly Eisenhower can't! They talk about what a great administrator and conciliator he is. Look at the mess the European plans are in now. He walked out right in the middle of it. By all means let's hustle for Stevenson and the Democratic ticket. Stevenson will give an honest, able administration. We haven't had either in the last two. Things are looking fine for Jack. I hope you saw the picture in TIME last week of the girls and Jack and Bobby. Everybody is working very hard. Be sure to write to your friends in Massachusetts to do some work amongst their Republican friends. They can do more good than all the politicians. Take care of yourself and we'll let you know what is going on. Love". Joseph P. Kennedy (1888-1969), the patriarch of the political dynasty that included U.S. President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy, married Rose Fitzgerald, the eldest daughter of Boston Mayor John Fitzgerald, in 1914. An astute businessman, Kennedy became a bank president at the age of 25 and his involvement in various other industries, including Hollywood's film industry, and his investments in the stock market (he cashed out before the Crash of 1929) made him one of the richest men in America. Kennedy, who backed Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 election, held a seat on the Securities and Exchange Commission during FDR's first term and chaired the Maritime Commission during the second. On January 17, 1938, Kennedy was named U.S. Ambassador to England. A staunch isolationist, he argued for the appeasement of Hitler and wanted the U.S. to stay out of any conflict that might occur between England and Germany. Disapproving of Roosevelt's growing involvement in the war, Kennedy resigned under pressure on October 22, 1940. His own political career doomed by his isolationist views, Kennedy groomed his sons for politics. After his eldest son, Joseph, Jr., was killed in combat during WWII, the mantle fell upon his second son, John F. Kennedy. Ironically, on December 19, 1961, just 11 months after he witnessed his son inaugurated as President, Joseph suffered a stroke and was unable to speak for the remainder of his life. In this letter to his sister, Kennedy's discussion of the 1952 Presidential candidates seems contrived and implausible, especially the claim that Eisenhower would become a dictator. No doubt his principle reason for supporting the Democratic ticket, despite his increasing conservatism and what had become intense dislike for Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, was to boost the prospects of his son Jack, who was seeking (and would win) a seat in the US Senate that fall. Family ambitions would certainly trump other considerations for Joseph Kennedy. This letter is from the collection of Kerry McCarthy, granddaughter of its original recipient, Joseph Kennedy's sister Loretta Connelly. Staple at top left corner. Multiple mailing folds. Lightly toned. Otherwise, fine condition.

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