JAMES FORRESTAL The first U.S. Secretary of Defense writes a letter as Secretary of the Navy to author Guy Lynn Sumner thanking him for sending an inscribed copy of his book about Abraham Lincoln. Typed Letter signed: “James Forrestal” as Truman’s Secretary of the Navy, 1p, 7½x9¼. Washington, 1946 February 6. On letterhead of The Secretary of the Navy addressed to G. Lynn Sumner, Esq. New York, New York. In Full: “Thank you for sending me a copy of your new book about Lincoln. I look forward keenly to reading it, and I appreciate your generous inscription. With best personal regards, I am Sincerely yours,” JAMES FORRESTAL (1892-1949), Secretary of the Navy from 1944, became the first Secretary of Defense in 1947. Forrestal helped implement Truman’s policy of integrating the armed forces, but clashed with the President over budget cuts. Forrestal met privately with Republican Presidential candidate Dewey, who intended to retain Forrestal in office. Truman summarily dismissed Forrestal on March 31, 1949. Suffering from what may have been nervous exhaustion, Forrestal was hospitalized on April 2. On May 22, Forrestal fell, leaped (or was pushed) to his death from a window at the National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Although suicide remains the most likely cause of death, conspiracy theorists have a field day with this sequence of events. Mailing fold through center. Mounting residue on verso. Fine condition. – Please contact us if you have any questions or require additional information. HFSID 291629
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