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Rare JFK photo up for auction in Cincinnati

Rare JFK photo up for auction in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, Ohio (WTVN) -- An Ohio auction house will sell an iconic photo that captures the moment when President John F. Kennedy was struck by an assassin's bullet.

"It's a Polaroid photograph. There is no negative. It's a one-of-a-kind picture," said Cowan Auctions owner Wes Cowan.

The auction is planned for Nov. 15 in Cincinnati. They will take bids in-person, online, or on the phone. Cowan expects the items to fetch between $50,000 and $75,000.

"We do know that all things revolving around JFK and the assassination are highly collectible. There will be plenty of people that will be interested in buying these photographs," he said.

The photo was taken by Mary Ann Moorman. She had gone to Dealey Plaza in hopes of catching a glimpse of the 35th President of the United States. Little did she know she would capture an image that would attract the attention of the world and federal agents.

A newspaper reporter ran over to her asking to see the photo moments after the shots were fired. She allowed him to run the photo in the paper. Hours later Moorman got a knock at the door. She opened it to find an FBI agent who demanded to see the photo. He took it.

When the photo was returned it had a large thumb print on it. The photo was again taken in 1977 as a Congressional committee subpoenaed it. She got it back after hiring a lawyer.

"She has never before tried to profit from it or gain any celebrity from it," Cowan said.

But the now 81 year old woman believes it's time to sell the item. She tried to use the famous Sotheby's in New York, but the Kennedy family stepped in and the auction house decided the photo was too sensitive to auction.

Not only are the photos considered a piece of American history, but Cowan believes they are one of the earliest forms of citizen journalism.

"This photograph is amazingly important," he said.

The auction begins at 10 a.m. on Nov. 15.

LINK: http://www.cowanauctions.com/auctions/item.aspx?ItemId=125106

(Photo courtesy Cowan Auctions)
 

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