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February 15, 2013

All eyes on JFK at Presidents Day weekend auction

AMESBURY, Mass. — An extensive collection of John F. Kennedy’s possessions, which gives the public a unique glimpse into the intimate personal life of the former president and his family, is about to be offered to the public.

The items will be auctioned off  Sunday. They come from the estate of  David Powers, Kennedy’s personal adviser and best friend.

“You can see that this is a real person,” said Dan Meader, an appraiser for McInnis Auctioneers. “It’s not just the legend, the hero, the president, it is a real person, and that’s what shows here.”

Powers, who died at 85 in 1998, was by the former president’s side literally every day of his political career, and after his 1963 assassination he was instrumental in the creation of the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. He donated thousands of items to the library upon its opening, but kept some of the most personal things to himself.

Those things remained at his home until his family began to clean out the house to sell it, and when it became clear how extraordinary the collection was, the family decided to put most of it up for bid.

John McInnis and his staff have spent nearly a year since then preparing for the auction.  “Since the news broke it’s been rather chaotic,” Meader said.

Besides the TV netwqorks, it has even drawn interest from foreign countries. A television crew from Russia came to Amesbury to interview McInnis and Meader about the auction.

“We’ve got a tiger by the tail here,” McInnis said. “We never realized that this would get this kind of attention.”

There are over 2,000 photographs, documents, gifts and other items divided into 723 lots up for bid, and each tells its own unique story about the life of the former president, from his early years in politics all the way up to his death, and beyond.

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