Lot 6: Inga Arvad Letter to John F. Kennedy
8th November 2017
TLS signed in pencil, “All my love, Inga Binga,” one page, 8.5 x 11, November 10, 1943. Flirtatious letter to “Dearest Jack,” in part: “Don’t the oddest things happen in real life? This morning I received a telegram (and mind you N.A.N.A. [North American Newspaper Alliance] only telling me to: Be sure to get an exclusive interview with Jack Kennedy, as they had learned he was due in California…What do you say? Afterall you can’t turn me down, can you?…I will, if necessary fly to San Francisco—and all for business….Now that I have asked for what I am supposed to ask for as a good newspaper woman, I will turn over a new leaf and just be horribly private. You are right here with me. No, unfortunately not in person. But the other day my things arrived from New York and the first thing I saw grinning at me, was that old picture of you which we used in my Washington column…Of course I am sunk when I look at it too long—they can have all the filmstars out here as far as I am concerned—buttering you up….And then—at the same time, ‘Why England Slept’ was there too. I promise to read it right off, and not stop till I get through—even if I die doing it….I don’t quite know what to write to you Jack dear, because if I follow my heart—it will be a love letter, and if I don’t, it will be stiff as an old poket [sic]. But you know me, I am on pins and needles, because I know you will be home soon. You do know—or don’t you—that you are the person in this world I would rather see than anybody—or is that a little too much of an admission?” In very good to fine condition. Accompanied by a modern reprint photo of Arvad. This letter was kept by Evelyn Lincoln when she cleaned out JFK’s senate files to move to the White House. Provenance: Estate of Robert White. The young Kennedy began an affair with Arvad—playfully nicknaming her “Inga Binga”—in 1941 while serving as an ensign in the US Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence. The FBI soon became concerned that she might be a Nazi spy—a modern day Mata Hari—as she had been Hitler’s guest at the 1936 Olympics. Her home and phone lines were wiretapped and the authorities listened in when she and Jack were together. Although they never found any evidence of wrongdoing, JFK’s father disapproved of the relationship and was concerned it could ruin any political aspirations. Kennedy ultimately ended the short-lived affair, but the two clearly maintained feelings for each other. An early piece of personal correspondence, this excellent letter offers a rare glimpse into Kennedy’s intimate personal life.
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