John F. Kennedy and Edgar A. Brown

An early copy of John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize winning book Profiles in Courage, signed by the author “with very best wishes” to Edgar A. Brown; a political button noting “If I were 21 I’d vote for Kennedy;” a letter from Kennedy thanking Brown for his support in the 1960 election; and a sympathy acknowledgement card with a personal note from Robert F. Kennedy are among the Kennedy related items in the Edgar A. Brown Papers in the Special Collections Library.   These items and several others are on display through December 18th in the Special Collections Library’s Hipp Reading Room.

Edgar Brown, a long time state senator from Barnwell, as well as a Clemson life trustee, served for many years as chairman of South Carolina’s Democratic Party, the dominant party in the state at that time.   Brown became acquainted with the Kennedy brothers during the years leading up to the 1960 presidential election as he helped John F. Kennedy’s campaign in South Carolina.  Kennedy won the state by less than 10,000 votes. Edgar Brown attended Kennedy’s inauguration in January 1961.  Less than three years later, he was one of the official South Carolina delegates to Kennedy’s funeral.