JFK’s American Optical Sunglasses

John F. Kennedy’s enigmatic charm and charismatic presence have become legendary over the years. A key element of his distinctive allure was undoubtedly his choice of eyewear. Though many believe he favored the renowned Wayfarers, the story behind JFK’s sunglasses is even more captivating. The truth lies in a classic American eyewear brand that predates the Wayfarer’s rise to fame – American Optical. In this article, we take a deep dive into the world of JFK’s iconic sunglasses, shedding light on the timeless allure of American Optical and its historic connection to the esteemed president.

Why American Optical?

Since 1833, American Optical has held the art of handcrafting eyewear close to its heart. The brand’s founder, William Beecher, was fueled by a relentless determination, firmly believing in the mantra “I can do better.”

In 1976, American Optical made a significant stride in the sunglass industry by introducing their first line of sunglasses. These remarkable shades featured lenses tinted in captivating blue, smoke, pink, and amber, adding a touch of style to eye protection.

Throughout its history, American Optical has been at the forefront of eyewear innovation. In 1913, they achieved a breakthrough by securing the rights to Crookes glasses, providing wearers with genuine UV protection, a vital advancement in safeguarding vision from harmful sun rays.

Building on this success, in 1940, the company made another noteworthy leap with the introduction of polarized lenses, revolutionizing the way people experienced the world through sunglasses.

JFK’s Favorite Sunglasses: The Saratoga by American Optical

JFK wearing Saratoga sunglasses by AO

One of American Optical’s timeless creations, the Saratoga, stands as a classic tortoise model that has earned a place in history. Renowned for its association with the charismatic John F. Kennedy, the Saratoga has become an icon in its own right. Handcrafted in American Optical’s US factory, using acetate sourced globally, these exquisite sunglasses embody the brand’s commitment to both quality and style.

Where can I get Saratoga sunglasses like JFK’s?

AO Saratoga Sunglasses in Black

American Optical Saratoga sunglasses are still extremely popular, and they typically sell for $200-$300. Most people love them for the quality, plus they are made in the United States – which is rare! You can browse their entire selection on Amazon or via their official website.

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