The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers

John F. Kennedy to Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt

December 29, 1958


Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt
202 56th Street West
New York 19, New York

Dear Mrs. Roosevelt:

Thank you for your letter of December 18, 1958. I am disappointed that you now seem to accept the view that simply because a rumor or allegation is repeated it becomes "commonly accepted as a fact." It is particularly inexplicable to me inasmuch as, as I indicated in my last letter, my father has not spent any money around the country, and has no "paid representatives" for this purpose in any state of the union -- nor has my father ever made the statement you attributed to him -- and I am certain no evidence to the contrary has ever been presented to you.

I am aware, as you must be, that there are a good many people who fabricate rumors and engage in slander about any person in public life. But I have made it a point never to accept or repeat such statements unless I have some concrete evidence of their truth.

Since my letter to you, I assume you have requested your informants to furnish you with more than their gossip and speculation. If they have been unable to produce concrete evidence to support their charges or proof of the existence of at least one "paid representative" in one state of the union, I am confident you will, after your investigation, correct the record in a fair and gracious manner. This would be a greatly appreciated gesture on your part and it would be consistent with your reputation for fairness.

Sincerely yours,

John F. Kennedy


bcc: Mr. Philip L. Graham
Washington Post and Times Herald
1515 L Street, N. W.
Washington, D. C.

TL carbon, POF, MBJFK

Index to this Document: 1960 presidential campaign; Campaign finance; Graham, Philip; Kennedy, John F.: 1960 campaign organization of; JPK, defense of; ER's criticism of; ER, retraction demanded from; on rumors; rumors denied by; Kennedy, Joseph P.: campaign finance and; JFK defends; Roosevelt, Eleanor: journalistic practices of; JFK, criticism of; JFK, retraction demanded by; political advice of; Rumors: denial of; political; Slander; Sources: anonymous; Washington Post; Washington Times-Herald

Published by the Model Editions Partnership

Recommended citation: Eleanor Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and the Election of 1960: A Project of The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, ed. by Allida Black, June Hopkins, John Sears, Christopher Alhambra, Mary Jo Binker, Christopher Brick, John S. Emrich, Eugenia Gusev, Kristen E. Gwinn, and Bryan D. Peery (Columbia, S.C.: Model Editions Partnership, 2003). Electronic version based on unpublished letters. .

For more information, visit The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers home page at

Copyright © 2006. The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers. All rights reserved.