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Bob Dylan’s handwritten love letters sell for over a half-million dollars

'Love, Bob.'

Bob Dylan plays a guitar on stage at a concert.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI.

A collection of love letters by Nobel Prize-winning singer-songwriter Bob Dylan addressed to his high school sweetheart has sold at auction for more than a half-million dollars.

The archive of 42 letters totaling over 150 pages of autograph material was addressed to Barbara Ann Hewitt when the rock legend was still known as Bob Zimmerman in the 1950s. The collection was sold for $670,000 to Livraria Lello, a renowned bookshop in Porto, Portugal, according to the Associated Press.

Not only do we get glimpses of Dylan’s day-to-day life growing up in Minnesota, such as preparing for a Hibbing High School talent show, inviting the young girl to a Bubby Holly concert in Duluth, and commenting on cars and clothes of the late ’50s, but he also hints at his larger aspirations of becoming famous later in life. As the RR Auction website noted in its description,

“Wide-ranging in scope and content, the young Dylan reveals his dreams of changing his name and selling a million records, offers bits and pieces of poetry, and professes his never-ending affection.”

Other Dylan memorabilia that was sold at the auction, including 24 “Poems Without Titles” sold for $250,000. One of Dylan’s earliest autographed photos brought more than $24,000.

In terms of Livraria Lello’s plans for what they’ll do with the high school-era love letters, the store that calls itself “the World’s Most Beautiful Bookshop” said it would keep the archive complete and available for both Dylan fanatics and academics studying his life, according to a statement from RR Auction.

Danny Peterson
About the author

Danny Peterson

Danny Peterson covers entertainment news for WGTC and has previously enjoyed writing about housing, homelessness, the coronavirus pandemic, historic 2020 Oregon wildfires, and racial justice protests. Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Danny received his Bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Alaska Southeast and a Master's in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. He has written for The Portland Observer, worked as a digital enterprise reporter at KOIN 6 News, and is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary 'Escape from Eagle Creek.'