Ruby hat goes for 53K in auction

November 8, 2009 6:18:25 AM PST
A gray fedora worn by Jack Ruby when he shot Lee Harvey Oswald sold for $53,775 at an auction of items linked to assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Ruby's signature fedora invited spirited bidding at the auction Saturday, said Doug Norwine of Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas.

Several collectors vied for the fedora, which had been expected to sell for at least $21,000.

"It's a piece of history," Norwine said. "That weekend of destiny in Dallas changed the social climate in America. For any baby boomer, it made an indelible impression."

The shackles that Ruby wore when he lay dying at Parkland Memorial Hospital sold for $11,054 and an X-ray of Ruby's head garnered $776.

Another hot commodity at the auction was the front page of The Dallas Morning News that Kennedy had signed for a maid at a Forth Worth hotel on the morning of his death. The paper -- worth a nickel when it came off the presses in 1963 -- sold for $38,837.

A rocking chair from the same era used by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., sold for $8,365.

The auction house said the Lincoln rocker was given to the civil rights leader by his editor, Hermine Isaacs Popper, to use while he worked on his writing at her White Plains, N.Y., cabin.

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