First edition of Portrait of the Assassin, inscribed by Gerald R. Ford to fellow Congressman, Bill Dickinson of Alabama.
Octavo, 508pp. Red cloth, gilt title on spine. Stated “first printing” on copyright page. Top edge blue, clean pages. Publisher’s dust jacket in fine condition, $6.95 price on front flap. Inscribed on the front free endpaper: “To Bill Dickinson in appreciation of your friendship and your great help during the rugged days of 1965. / I am deeply grateful for your many kindnesses and I am looking forward to working with you for the Republican cause in the months ahead. / Betty joins me in extending the best wishes of all the Fords to you and your family. Gerald R. Ford. 12/12/65.”
Alabama Representative Bill Dickinson (1925-2008) was the longest serving Republican congressman in Alabama history, representing the 2nd congressional district. He served on the influential House Armed Services Committee in the 1970s and 1980s. He was a leading member of the conservative wing of the Republican Party and remained friends with Gerald Ford as he moved to the White House. He left office in 1993 and died in 2008. Shortly after the death of President John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson asked Chief Justice Earl Warren to head a presidential commission investigating the assassination of the president. What was formally known as the President’s Commission quickly became known as the Warren Commission. Johnson asked a total of 7 people to serve on the commission, including the former Director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, and Michigan Representative Gerald R. Ford. Gerald R. Ford would go on to serve as President of the United States but would spend the rest of his life defending the lone gunman theory of the Warren Commission.