Jack Ruby’s Hat During Oswald’s Murder Auctioned in Dallas While Kennedys Bury JFK’s Younger Brother

August 28, 2009


The Dallas Morning News just reported that the gray felt fedora Jack Ruby wore when he shot Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy’s murderer, soon will be up for sale in Dallas.

11:24 am on November 22nd 1963. It definitely was newsy Sunday in Dallas, as authorities were preparing to transfer 24-year-old Oswald by car from police headquarters to the nearby county jail two days after he had committed the most terrifying assassination in the history of the United States. Stepping out from an overwhelming crowd of reporters and photographers, Ruby fired a snub-nosed Colt Cobra .38 into Oswald’s abdomen on a nationally televised live broadcast.

He was wearing a grey felt fedora.

Ruby was then arrested. First, he said that he was acting on behave of President Kennedy. Then, he said it was a spontaneous act with no real reasoning. It was then proved that he was taking Preludin. Finally, his defense attorney, Melvin Belli, agreed to represent Ruby free of charge proving that he was legally insane and had a history of mental illness in his family. Ruby died on January 3, 1967, from a lung cancer.

“It’s a pretty stylish hat,” said Noah Fleisher, a spokesman for the Heritage Auction Galleries that will start taking advance bids for the hat in October and will put it up for auction in early November. “The guy had good taste,” said Fleisher. In 2008, the hat was auctioned for $61,000. According to liveauctioneers.com, the hat is a size 7.25 and includes “Jack Ruby” in gold lettering on the inside of the hat, as one can see in the picture. The price, $16.50, also stamped on the topper, is an unreal figure that just pretends to create the buzz with the pitch that is being faithful to the original price. Here’s what the Auction House says about the piece:

“Cavanagh Hats/New York,” and a two-lion emblem are found on the inside silk portion of the hat. “Jas K. Wilson/Dallas” is printed in gold script lettering on the left of the inside hat band. “JACK RUBY” is printed in gold lettering on the right side of the inside hat band. “Cavanagh Edge” is printed in gold lettering on the front of the inside hat band. Underneath the inside hat band, the style (“5B03 Dawn”) and price ($16.50) can be found. Includes a photocopy of the first three pages of “Accounting of Independent Executor” in the Probate Court No. 2 of Dallas County, Texas, identifying this hat as “worn by Jack L. Ruby at the moment he shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963.”


Also in November, a front page of The Dallas Morning News autographed by President John F. Kennedy on the day he was assassinated by Oswald in 1963 will be put up for auction with the hat.

What is interesting about the whole story is that the news came out particularly today, two days after Ted Kennedy’s death. Commentators on The Dallas Morning News article imply that Ted’s momentum is being used to advertise the auction. “They should put the hat on Ted Kennedy and bury that era altogether,” says one of the readers. Let’s just stick to the hat. 



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