Today marks the anniversary of the passing of John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963), the 35th president of the U. S., whose term began in January of 1961 and ended with his assassination on November 22 of 1963. The LeBoeuf Pen Company is honoring him with a new limited edition fountain pen and rollerball as part of its Icon Series. The pens feature black caps and “Camelot Blue” acrylic barrels in tribute to the Kennedy administration, which became known as “Camelot.”
Kennedy, at 43, was the youngest person elected U.S. president to date, and thus his presidency represented youthful optimism in the aftermath of World War II. But the promise of this charismatic leader came to an abrupt end. For many Americans, the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas remains one of the most traumatic political events in memory.
JFK, as he became known, was an energetic idealist. He graduated from Harvard University in 1940 and later volunteered for hazardous combat duty in the Pacific during World War II, which earned him the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. After a short stint as a journalist, Kennedy, a Democrat, entered politics and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 and the U.S. Senate from 1953 to 1961. While in the Senate, he wrote Profiles in Courage, which won a Pulitzer Prize.
Kennedy’s administration was marked by some tense moments on the world stage, including the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961 and later, the Cuban Missile Crisis. He will also be remembered, among other things, for his support of the civil rights movement, the Apollo program, and and the founding of the Peace Corps.
Each blue barrel is engraved with John F. Kennedy’s signature in gold fill, while a gold-plated embossed coin with Kennedy’s portrait crowns the pen’s cap. The cartridge- or convertor-filled fountain pen is fitted with a 14-karat gold-plated German-made nib available in fine and medium sizes. The rollerball employs a standard international refill.
Each pen is packaged n a special commemorative navy blue box decorated with JFK’s signature.
The LeBoeuf pen company was originally founded in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1919. It was known for its use of celluloid in crafting its pens, rather than the more conventional hard rubber employed in pen making at the time. The company fell into bankruptcy in 1933, with a brief revival in the 1990s.
The LeBoeuf name became part of New Jersey-based Harpen Brands in 2019, and the Pilgrim series, originally from the 1930s, was the first new pen issued. A well-conceived remake, it relied on the original LeBoeuf Pilgrim pens and drawings to create its authentic appearance. A celluloid-look acrylic was used to quite accurately reimagine the original.
The LeBoeuf Icon Collection of limited editions was conceived with the intention of commemorating notable historical figures. The first among them was the John Quincy Adams pens. This was followed by Dwight Eisenhower, Alexander Graham Bell, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Edgar Alan Poe, Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton.
The number of pens within each edition ranges from 100 to 200, with a price point of about $220 for the fountain pen and $210 for the rollerball. Each pen features a specially chosen acrylic that in some way correlates to the individual being honored.