News | November 23, 2023

Scarce JFK & RFK Signed Presidential Pardon to Auction

Nate D Sanders Auctions

The presidential pardon

Nate D. Sanders Auctions will auction an exceptionally rare presidential pardon signed by President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy on November 30. It is dated November 14, 1963, eight days before the assassination of President Kennedy.

Presidential pardons signed by John F. Kennedy are rare, as pardons are mostly issued at the conclusion of a President's term. Since JFK did not serve his full term, the number of pardons he issued were few. In the last half-century, only six others have come to auction. This particular document holds additional significance as it represents one of the final official acts of President Kennedy.

The pardon is prominently adorned with the bold signatures of both John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, placed next to the gold foil Department of Justice seal. This document grants clemency to Ted E. Barto of Minneapolis who had been convicted of violating U.S. Code Title 18, Section 287, related to "false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims." Barto's offense involved submitting false claims to the Veterans Administration concerning flights charged to the U.S. government for GI flying lessons. Unaware of the fraud committed by the school's owners, Barto sought a pardon and was granted a full and unconditional pardon.

Consigned by the family of Ted Barto, the pardon has never before been offered at auction.

"We are honored to present this historic presidential pardon, a document that not only reflects a moment in legal history but also stands as one of the last official acts of President John F. Kennedy," said auction owner Nate Sanders. “The rarity of a pardon signed by both JFK and RFK, coupled with its poignant timing, makes this an extraordinary piece for collectors and history enthusiasts."