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John J. Pershing


John Joseph Pershing, 18601948.  General of the Armies of the United States; Commander in Chief of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I.  Known as “Black Jack" Pershing. Near mint condition 8" x 10" black-and-white portrait photograph signed, John J. Pershing.

This vintage photograph comes from a collection originally assembled by Rosemary E. Wright (18901969), who spent some 35 years working for the Army, ultimately as Chief of the Army General Staff Assignment Section, before she retired in November 1953.  Miss Wright wrote of her years with the Army in The Generals Call Me “Mom,” which appeared in the March 15, 1952, edition of Collier's magazine.  According to the article, Pershing gave her this photograph on September 13, 1924, his 64th birthday and his last day as the Army Chief of Staff.

This photograph shows Pershing in the uniform of a four-star general, the rank to which he was commissioned in 1918.  In 1920, in recognition of his distinguished service during World War I,  Congress authorized the President to promote Pershing to General of the Armies of the United States, a rank created especially for him.  It is sometimes mentioned as six-star general, since it is superior to the rank of General of the Army, the five-star rank created during World War II.  But Pershing wore the four stars of a regular general for the rest of his career.  He remained preeminent among all Army personnel until his death.

This photograph is in near mint condition. Pershing has signed it boldly in black fountain pen.  There is one visible impression in the right border, well removed from the image and the signature.  There are also some small blemishes on the image itself, but they are virtually unnoticeable.


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