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1940 HARRY TRUMAN TLS to MAFIA LAWYER MORRIS SHENKER, SIGNED BY TRUMAN after Senate reelection

INTERESTING typed letter, one page, 8” x 10˝”, on stationery of the United States Senate, Committee on Interstate Commerce, Washington, D.C. Letter is written from Kansas City, Missouri on 29 November 1940 and SIGNED BY SENATOR HARRY S. TRUMAN. The letter is addressed to Mr. MORRIS A. SHENKER 418 Olive Street St. Louis, Missouri and reads as follows:

Dear Mr. Shenker:
Thank you very much for yours of the Twenty Second congratulating me on my election. I do appreciate the good wishes of Miss Carroll and Mr. Reardon.

I am very happy that you were pleased with the speech of Mr. Berenstein. I think very highly of Mr. Berenstein, and am glad you liked him.
Sincerely,
Harry S. Truman


.Harry S. Truman, 1884-1972. 33rd President of the United States, famous for the dropping of the first atomic bomb, the end of World War II, the beginnings of the Cold War, the Berlin Airlift, the establishment of NATO, racial integration of the armed forces, the civil rights program, the Korean War, and the firing of General Douglas MacArthur.

. This is a rare letter in which Truman, associated with the infamous Pendergast political organization in Kansas City writes to Morris A. Shenker long reputed to be associated with organized crime.

Truman owed his political career to the support of the Pendergast machine—and was even known as “the Senator from Pendergast.” Truman was not ashamed of his relationship with Pendergast, who he said never asked him to do anything crooked.

Morris Shenker, whom Life magazine once called "Lawyer to the Mob," died at age 82 in 1989 owing the IRS $55 million. During the 1960s Shenker, represented Jimmy Hoffa, was friends with JFK, and once owned the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas. It was doubtful that he was a member of the mob, but was rather a shrewd lawyer who represented many mobsters and was active in Democratic politics.

Former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Ronald J. Lawrence said of Shenker:
“There is a tendency to dismiss as inconsequential the tremendous influence and power wielded inside and outside the underworld by Morris Shenker, a functionary for the St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago and other families. This largely was because most local law enforcement officers were unable to comprehend the complexity of the man and his operations. Shenker, a lawyer who once represented Jimmy Hoffa, was a mover and shaker and a financial genius of the caliber of Lansky. It was Shenker who tapped the Teamster Union’s Central States Pension Fund to finance much of the mob’s penetration of Las Vegas casinos and other ventures. Shenker’s influence extended far beyond the underworld and he was able to get two of his own federal indictments killed.”

David Berenstein was a lawyer in St. Louis, MO who helped Truman write speeches during his 1940 reelection campaign for the US Senate. Berenstein returned to his law practice following the general election in November.

Except for the two slight fold lines (see scan), this historically interesting letter is in quite good condition.

Price= $750.00.00



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