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Sold! JFK's Air Force One bomber jacket fetches $629,000 at auction

By Holly Yan and AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN
February 18, 2013 -- Updated 2200 GMT (0600 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The family of JFK's assistant and close friend auction a cache of personal items
  • David Powers' family discovered the locked stockpile while trying to sell the family house
  • The hundreds of items include Kennedy family photos and letters from JFK to his parents
  • The stash also includes a birthday card signed by John Jr. and Kennedy's itinerary to Dallas

(CNN) -- Half a century after the heyday of Camelot, a treasure trove of John F. Kennedy personal items now belongs to a bevy of JFK fanatics.

At the center of the cache: Kennedy's Air Force One bomber jacket, which sold at auction Sunday for $629,000.

Bidding for the brown leather jacket, affixed with a patch of the presidential seal, far exceeded the pre-auction estimate of $20,000 to $40,000.

The $629,000 total includes an 18% buyer's premium, or the amount paid to the auction house, according to John McInnis Auctioneers of Massachusetts.

The brown leather jacket, affixed with a patch of the presidential seal, far exceeded the pre-auction estimate.
The brown leather jacket, affixed with a patch of the presidential seal, far exceeded the pre-auction estimate.

Kennedy's jacket is among hundreds of JFK memorabilia nearly forgotten about until the family of David Powers, Kennedy's special assistant and close friend, discovered the locked stockpile while preparing to sell the family's home.

The items auctioned included a collection of Kennedy family photographs from the late 1930s, working copies of a foreign policy speech and signed letters from the president to his parents.

The stash also includes a May 29, 1963, birthday card for Kennedy signed by his toddler son, John Jr., as well as a marked-up itinerary for his final presidential trip, a visit to Dallas in November 1963.

Powers was with Kennedy the day the president was assassinated in 1963. He became the first curator of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and died in 1998.

November 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination in Dallas.

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