JFK Docs Tied to Ex-California Governors Sold at Auction

Sotheby's said they cannot reveal the buyer of the items auctioned Monday.

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Auctioneers sold memorabilia related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Monday, amid objections from former California Gov. Jerry Brown, whose father originally owned the material.

The private letters and documents had belonged to Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, who served as governor of California from 1959 to 1967.

An unknown individual offered the items to auction house Sotheby's, where they sold for $18,000 — thousands of dollars less than expected. The material includes letters from John and Jacqueline Kennedy and a copy of The Associated Press news bulletin about the shooting of Kennedy.

Jerry Brown said Friday he wanted to know why the seller was seeking anonymity and why the items weren't housed at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sotheby's said they cannot reveal the buyer of the items auctioned Monday.

Auction records tie the items to one of Edmund Brown's closest political confidants, Frank Cullen. In 2007, a year after Cullen died, archives including 94 records were put up for sale, a package that included all of the items also sold on Monday. An undisclosed buyer acquired the archives for $72,500 at the time, according to a listing from Heritage Auctions.

The smaller batch of documents on Monday sold for less than the estimated $20,000 to $30,000.


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The patriarch of a California political dynasty, the elder Brown died in 1996. His son Jerry Brown served a record four terms as California governor.

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