A revealing handwritten letter, signed by the pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh (1902 – 1974).
The letter comprises five pages, each measuring 5.5” by 8.25”, and is dated March 11, 1956.
The letter is addressed to Lt. General Emmett O'Donnell, Deputy Chief of Staff of Personnel of the Air Force, and is headed "Confidential and personal".
The letter regards Lindbergh's appointment to the Board of Visitors at the Air Academy, and reads in part:
"Frankly, I am in a quandary. I am most anxious to support the interests of the Air Force in every way I can; but I am already overcommitted and I do not see how I can devote the time to the Board of Visitors that would be a proper obligation for someone holding that office - this is all the more true because I have little background and experience in the academic field....
“In my own case, the situation is complicated by the fact that I have laid plans to be abroad a large part of the time during the next several months, in connection with Pan American Airways activities and with writing projects... I am not in a position to serve adequately on the Board, and I do not want to embarrass anyone because of the very understandable error which was made in connection with my appointment....
“And there is another complication; for years I have tried to avoid contact with the modern Press, so I can travel, think, and work, effectively. I have, at least, achieved a reasonable degree of success in this endeavor, and I do not want to take on work which involves contact with photographers and reporters.""
The letter is in fine condition, with file holes at left edges (including associated tiny tears, neatly repaired from reverse).
Following his record-breaking transatlantic flight in 1927 Lindbergh became arguably the most famous person in the world, and was swarmed by crowds wherever he went.
As an acutely private man he struggled with this newfound fame, and attention from the press intensified following the tragic kidnapping and murder of his son Charles Jr. in 1932.
Not only does the letter speak to Lindbergh's desire for privacy, but it also illustrates the burden of his schedule which impacted his private life.
According to biographer A. Scott Berg, Lindbergh's wife Anne embarked on an affair with her physician the same year that this letter was written.
A rare and fascinating insight into the life of one of the 20th century's most famous figures.
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