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1
Annotated carbon copy of McNamara's letter of condition of accepting position of Secretary of Defense
Estimación
8001.200
Lote. Vendido 5,313 USD (Precio de adjudicación con prima del comprador)
SALTAR AL LOTE
1
Annotated carbon copy of McNamara's letter of condition of accepting position of Secretary of Defense
Estimación
8001.200
Lote. Vendido 5,313 USD (Precio de adjudicación con prima del comprador)
SALTAR AL LOTE

Details & Cataloguing

The White House Years of Robert S. McNamara

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New York

Annotated carbon copy of McNamara's letter of condition of accepting position of Secretary of Defense
Carbon copy of McNamara's letter of condition to President-elect Kennedy on Ford Motor Company letterhead, one page (10 1/2 x 7 1/8 in.; 265 x 180 mm), Dearborn, Michigan, 12 December 1960, listing the terms under which he would accept the position, annotated and dated 2:30 PM 12/13/60 indicating that JFK and RFK, had agreed to the terms. Together with: a press statement issued by the Ford Motor Company, 3 pages (11 x 8 1/2; 277 x 210 mm), And with: An AP newswire photograph of Kennedy and McNamara outside Kennedy's home in Georgetown announcing the appointment. Mounted, glazed, and framed.
Leer informe de condiciones Leer informe de condiciones

Documentación

Robert S. McNamara. In Retrospect (1995), pp. 13-17

Nota del catálogo

On Thursday, 9 November 1960, one day after Kennedy's election, McNamara was appointed as president of the Ford Motor Company. The first company head selected outside of the Ford family, he was largely responsible for Ford's expansion and success in the postwar period. At about the same time, the economist John Kenneth Galbraith was researching corporate governance and sought out McNamara because "he had heard of a motor company executive who seemed an oddball for Detroit" (McNamara. In Retrospect, p. 15). It was through Galbraith's agency that McNamara had been recommended as a candidate for the president-elect's cabinet.

On 8 December 1960, just weeks after he had become president of Ford, McNamara received a call from Robert Kennedy who asked him to meet with Sargent Shriver that afternoon.  When Shriver arrived at McNamara's office, he began the conversation by saying "The president-elect has instructed me to offer you the position of secretary of the treasury."  When McNamara protested he was not qualitifed, Shriver responded: "If you hold to that position, I am authorized to say Jack Kennedy wishes you to serve as secretary of defense" (In Retrospect, p. 14).  McNamara again declared his lack of qualifications, but Shriver persisted. He asked McNamara to meet with the president-elect in Washington the following day. McNamara agreed to fly to Washington and met Kennedy at his Georgetown home. "When the president-elect asked if I would serve as his secretary of defense, I told him what I had told Sarge: 'I am not qualified.' 'Who is?' he asked" (In Retrospect, p. 15). 

McNamara spent the weekend deliberating with his family. If he accepted the president-elect's offer, it would mean moving to Washington and his salary would plunge from $400,000 to $23,000. McNamara drew up a letter which he handed to the president-elect on 12 December at his Georgetown home. His terms were simple but clear: 1) he would have complete authority to staff the Defense Department with the most competent men and that he would not use the type of reorganization recommended in the Symington Report. On his retained carbon, McNamara wrote: "2:30 PM 12/13/60 | Met with Senator Kennedy at his house 3307 N St. — handed ltr to him; he read it, agreed with its terms, & handed it to Bob K who also read it and placed it on a table in the room." Kennedy was keen to announce the appointment  as soon as possible and immediately drafted a statement to deliver to the press. A photograph of that momentous occasion is included in the lot. 

McNamara, now vested with the complete authority he had demanded, chose an outstanding group of men who went on to achieve cabinet status themselves: Harold Brown, Joseph Califano, John Connally, and Paul Nitze.  

The White House Years of Robert S. McNamara

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New York