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RFK: Courage the Virtue JFK Most Admired

Feb. 10, 1964 - “Courage is the virtue that President Kennedy most admired,” writes Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in a memorial edition of “Profiles in Courage” that appears today. An earlier edition of the book, published by Harper & Row, is at the top of the best-seller list of general books. The President wrote the book while recovering from a back operation in 1955. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1957 for it.

Robert Kennedy writes that his brother sought out people who had demonstrated courage. The book about American political figures who acted courageously fitted his personality, the Attorney General says. “At least one half of the days that he spent on this earth were days of intense physical pain,” he says. “When we were growing up together,” he continues, “we used to laugh about the great risk a mosquito took in biting Jack Kennedy — with some of his blood the mosquito was almost sure to die.”

Mr. Kennedy says that his brother never complained. “He didn’t complain about his problem, so why should I complain about mine — that is how one always felt,” writes the Attorney General.

The tenor of the foreword is believed by political observers to show something about the man who wrote it. It is dated Dec. 18, 1963. Mr. Kennedy was then in a depression over the assassination of his brother 26 days earlier. The possibility of his resigning was rumored.

The Attorney General’s earnings from the book will be contributed to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library in Cambridge, Mass. The publishers’ profits from the new edition will be used for an award named for the late President to be given for books in biography and history.


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