J.F.K.'S AIR FORCE ONE BOMBER JACKET GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS. An original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, with sewn patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast, originally owned by President John F. Kennedy and gifted to David Powers circa 1962-1963,

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Lot 133
J.F.K.'S AIR FORCE ONE BOMBER JACKET GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS.
An original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, with sewn patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast, originally owned by President John F. Kennedy and gifted to David Powers circa 1962-1963,

Sold for US$ 250,075 inc. premium
J.F.K.'S AIR FORCE ONE BOMBER JACKET GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS.
An original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, with sewn patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast, originally owned by President John F. Kennedy and gifted to David Powers circa 1962-1963, leather jacket, with fur collar, elastic wrist and waist, size 44, manufactured by Ralph Edwards sportswear for the USN Bureau of Navel Weapons, specification "G-1 SPEC. MIL-J-7823B," and contract no "QM(CTM)11214-C-62," light wear, but extremely well preserved.
Provenance: President John F. Kennedy; gifted to David Powers; exhibited Reagan Library, "Our Presidents: From Washington to Clinton," 2013 (typed letter signed from Ronald Reagan to David Powers, dated July 12, 1993); sold Presidential Auction: The Estate of David F. Powers, John McInnis Auctioneers, Boston, February 17, 2013, lot 327.

"Outside of Bobby, President Kennedy had one really close friend and that was Dave Powers."
-Kenneth O'Donnell, top aide to JFK.

JFK'S ICONIC LEATHER BOMBER JACKET, GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS, FRIEND, CONFIDANT AND SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT, AS WELL AS THE FIRST AND LONGEST CURATOR OF THE JFK LIBRARY AND MUSEUM. On a cold winter's night in 1946, a young John Kennedy knocked on a Charlestown tenement door and announced "My name is Jack Kennedy. I am a candidate for Congress. Will you help me?" The man on the other side of that door, David F. Powers, initially said no, but when he saw the future President speak the following day, he changed his mind, beginning one of the most important friendships of the 20th-century.
Powers was known officially as the "Special Assistant" to the President, but often referred to by White House colleagues as "John's other wife." Powers was principal gatekeeper, fixer, sounding board, jester and, finally, keeper of the flame. After JFK's death, Bobby Kennedy tapped Powers as the shepherd of the Kennedy legacy and first curator of the JFK museum when a nascent collection traveled the world in 1965, until his retirement from the JFK Library in 1994.

The iconic leather G-1 bomber jacket was given by Kennedy to Powers in 1962 or 1963, and Powers treasured the jacket throughout his life. According to a letter enclosed from Powers's son David, he would often pull the jacket out and talk about the President. Included in the lot is a letter from Ronald Reagan, thanking Powers, "This is to express my deepest gratitude for the loan of President Kennedy's Air Force One jacket that has been included in our first major exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Library." The Reagan Library exhibit also included George Washington's map of Mount Vernon, John Adams' silver baby rattle, and a saxophone from Bill Clinton.

An important relic of the American presidency, this spectacular jacket is a testament to one of JFK's most important friendships.

Footnotes

  • ''Jack loved Dave Powers like a brother, and so did all of us in the Kennedy family.'' -Senator Ted Kennedy.
Contacts
J.F.K.'S AIR FORCE ONE BOMBER JACKET GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS. An original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, with sewn patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast, originally owned by President John F. Kennedy and gifted to David Powers circa 1962-1963,
J.F.K.'S AIR FORCE ONE BOMBER JACKET GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS. An original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, with sewn patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast, originally owned by President John F. Kennedy and gifted to David Powers circa 1962-1963,
J.F.K.'S AIR FORCE ONE BOMBER JACKET GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS. An original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, with sewn patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast, originally owned by President John F. Kennedy and gifted to David Powers circa 1962-1963,
J.F.K.'S AIR FORCE ONE BOMBER JACKET GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS. An original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, with sewn patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast, originally owned by President John F. Kennedy and gifted to David Powers circa 1962-1963,
J.F.K.'S AIR FORCE ONE BOMBER JACKET GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS. An original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, with sewn patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast, originally owned by President John F. Kennedy and gifted to David Powers circa 1962-1963,
J.F.K.'S AIR FORCE ONE BOMBER JACKET GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS. An original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, with sewn patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast, originally owned by President John F. Kennedy and gifted to David Powers circa 1962-1963,
J.F.K.'S AIR FORCE ONE BOMBER JACKET GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS. An original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, with sewn patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast, originally owned by President John F. Kennedy and gifted to David Powers circa 1962-1963,
J.F.K.'S AIR FORCE ONE BOMBER JACKET GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS. An original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, with sewn patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast, originally owned by President John F. Kennedy and gifted to David Powers circa 1962-1963,
J.F.K.'S AIR FORCE ONE BOMBER JACKET GIVEN TO DAVID POWERS. An original U.S. Government issue G-1 flight jacket, with sewn patch of the Seal of the President of the United States over the right breast, originally owned by President John F. Kennedy and gifted to David Powers circa 1962-1963,
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