First edition of Staking a Claim by Jonathan D. Greenberg, inscribed by Jake Simmons III to U.S. Ambassador Ed Perkins.
Octavo, , 311pp. Hardcover, cream cloth spine, title in gilt on spine. Number line on copyright page beginning with “2.” Solid text block, lightly bumped top corners, else fine. In publisher’s dust jacket, $19.95 retail price on front flap, sunning to spine, a near fine example. Inscribed on the front free endpaper: “To My Friend Amb. Ed Perkins – With this book, I give you my most precious possession, the wonderful memories I have of my remarkable father Jake Simmons, Jr. With friendship and high regard. Jake III 4/3/90.”
Jake Simmons III (1925-2002) was an undersecretary of the Interior Department during the Kennedy Administration and served three terms on the Interstate Commerce Commission and Surface Transportation Board during the Reagan and first Bush administrations.
Jake Simmons, Jr. (1901-1981), the subject of this biography, was the father of Jake Simmons III and was an international oil broker. Simmons, Jr. was “the most successful and most recognizable black entrepreneur” of his time in the oil industry.
Dr. Edward J. Perkins (1928-2020) served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, as well as Liberia, South Africa, and Australia throughout his 25-year foreign service career. In 1986 President Ronald Reagan appointed Perkins to serve as ambassador to South Africa in hopes of fending off a congressional override to his veto of economic sanctions against the country. It was a controversial decision amidst apartheid in South Africa, and many Black leaders urged Perkins to not take the role. Perkins accepted the position and served until 1989, one year before Nelson Mandela was released from prison. He was appointed U.N. Ambassador by George H. Bush in 1992, serving for one year.