Fall, 2017 Ringside and Premier Auction
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The family of Hall of Fame football player Art Donovan has a long and storied history in professional boxing.  Donovan's father was noted boxing referee Arthur Donovan Sr., and his grandfather was "Professor" Mike Donovan, the world's middleweight boxing champion in the 1870s.  The eldest Donovan fought John L. Sullivan, and after his retirement from the fight game, he went on to become a boxing instructor at the New York Athletic Club.  The club, which was founded in 1868, is an private, invitation-only club that currently boasts nearly 9,000 members and offers many different sports, combat sports like boxing and wrestling included.  Often considered the foundation for amateur athletics in the United States, New York Athletic Club members have won 119 Olympic Gold Medals.

It was at the NYAC that Professor Mike Donovan taught President Teddy Roosevelt and his sons how to box.  Once considered a lower-class sport, it was Donovan bringing boxing into the NYAC that helped bring it to a different class of people, bringing the sport to the mainstream.  

Presented here is a 1917 letter from Roosevelt to Donovan, which clearly accompanied an enclosure or attachment.  Simply worded "Dear Mike: Is the enclosed all right?  Faithfully yours," the letter is then signed by Theodore Roosevelt.  

The letter itself is well-worn, having passed down several generations and consigned from a collection of material given by the young football Donovan to a well-known broadcaster, who consigned it to this auction.  The paper exhibits some fading and tearing, but is a piece of Roosevelt's own letterhead.  Some cut photos of the President appear at the bottom, along with a quote about Roosevelt and Donovan, ostensibly related by Harry Donovan, another member of the "Fighting Donovan" family.

A trenemdous piece of both boxing and presidential memorabilia with impeccable provenance.  Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

1917 Teddy Roosevelt Signed Letter to Mike Donovan (JSA)
1917 Teddy Roosevelt Signed Letter to Mike Donovan (JSA)
Click above for larger image.
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