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Some autographs in my collection

philographerphilographer Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭✭

I collected autographs and manuscripts beginning in 1980 when I was 12. Mostly I would write to famous people and ask for a signed photograph or a response to a question. I also bought an old collection of sports and movie star autographs from the early 1930's in about 1983 at an antique shop in Michigan . Here are a few to share:

Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds

Edwin Land, inventor of the Polaroid camera

George Lucas, director of Star Wars

George Burns, actor

Art Scholl, stunt pilot, died during filming of Top Gun

John Huston, Director, Maltese Falcon, The African Queen

Ellison Onizuka, Astronaut, Space Shuttle Challenger

Gilda Radner, Comedienne, original cast of Saturday Night Live

Paul "Bear" Bryant, U of Alabama football coach

Johnny Marks, Composer, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Max Schmeling, Boxer

Luciano Pavarotti, Opera Singer

Mickey Cochrane, Baseball Hall of Fame (from my antique store find). Also has a Detroit Baseball Co. envelope.

George Simenon, French mystery writer

Pappy Boyington, WWII Ace, Flying Tigers, Commander Baa Baa Black Sheep

Betty Davis, actress

Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel Prizes--Chemistry and Peace

Lawrence Olivier, Actor (facsimile signed photo from the antique shop. I mailed to him for an authentic signature)

Dean Rusk, Secretary of State under President Kennedy

Jack Nicklaus, golfer

Edward Teller, inventor of the hydrogen bomb

Mother Teresa, saint (what else can I say? ;)

Chuck Yeager, pilot

Jimmy stewart, actor

Robert Ripley, Believe it or Not (from my antique store find).

Hank Ketcham, cartoonist, Dennis the Menace

Walter Kent, composer, "I'll Be Home for Christmas"

Prince Ranier of Monaco, Prince of Monaco, husband of Grace Kelly

James Leavelle, Dallas Police detective handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when shot by Jack Ruby

Muhammad Ali, boxer

Charles Addams, cartoonist, The New Yorker, Addams Family

Mel Blanc, voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck

John Denver, county music singer

Jimmy Connors, tennis champion

Walter Cronkite, journalist, newscaster

Marlene Dietrich, actress

Rock Hudson, actor

Sam Ervin, U.S. Senator from NC, lead in Watergate hearings

Philip Johnson, architect

Walter Lantz, cartoonist, Woody Woodpecker

Glad to post more if there is interest!

Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

Comments

  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,224 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Those are fantastic! There are some extremely desirable ones in there.

    I was also collecting back then and we have some of the same people, but you have many I never wrote to.

  • philographerphilographer Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A few more...

    Jim Henson, Muppets

    Neil Armstrong

    Dave Brubeck, jazz composer

    Bill Dana, X-15 pilot

    Hoagy Carmichael

    George and Barbara Bush, as Vice President

    George Bush, note as Vice President

    Akira Kurosawa, Japanese director, regarded as one of the most influential directors in cinema

    Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

  • philographerphilographer Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 16, 2020 9:36PM

    The Soviet Union shot down Korean Air Lines flight 007 over Sakhalin Island in 1983, a significant event in the Cold War. Charles Lichenstein, deputy US representative to the United Nations Security Council delivered a stern speech, excerpts of which were carried on the evening news. I wrote him and asked for a signed copy of his speech...

    In collecting autographs, what I’d learned even as a 15 year-old was that interesting content was what mattered.

    Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

  • mrmoparmrmopar Posts: 631 ✭✭✭

    Wish I had thought to or had interest in autographs in the late 70s/early 80s when I was a kid. That was the time to do it, it seems.

    Interesting story, at least to me. My family took a Disney Med cruise a couple years back and one of the stops was Monaco. We were enjoying the sites and there was a crowd forming to view the changing of the guards. We were standing off to the right of the residence when I spied who I believed to be the Prince walking away from the residence . He was walking alone past the crowd, dressed in a suit, but very "under the radar". He walked right by me, I looked over at some staff who were close by directing traffic and did the "is that him"" look/gesture and although I go no reply, I got the reply I needed. By the time I directed my family to look, he had disappeared into the crowd.

    He really was kind of nondescript, especially how he easily slipped by all the tourists who were there for him.

    I collect Steve Garvey, Dodgers and signed cards. Collector since 1978.
  • philographerphilographer Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 17, 2020 5:58AM

    Walter Peyton, Football player

    Red Adair, oil well firefighter
    image

    Dr. Christiaan Barnard, performed first heart transplant
    image

    Milton Friedman, Nobel, Economics
    image

    Valentina Tereshkova, cosmonaut, first woman in space

    Thurgood Marshall, Jurist
    image

    General JH "Jimmy" Doolittle,. aviation pioneer

    Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

  • philographerphilographer Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 16, 2020 9:05PM

    Dallas Police Sergeant Robert E. Dugger, TLS

    [1983 was the 20th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. Life Magazine (yes, it was still around at the time) devoted an issue to recollections of the event, including interviews with many of the police and secret service agents involved. I researched and found a few addresses, and wrote a letter to Sergeant Dugger, who was kind enough to write back.]

    Feb. 16, 1984

    Dear Eddie,

    I was pleased to receive your letter.

    On the day of Kennedy’s visit to Dallas, I was assigned an outside security position at the World Trade Center. I was stationed at the side entrance where the President and his party were to enter the building. We were monitoring the police radio during President Kennedy’s motorcade through Dallas. We were informed by the dispatcher that shots were fired near the Elm Street underpass and that the president was wounded. The President’s car came past our position enroute to Parkland Hospital. The Chief of the Secret Service was inside the Mart. (Over page 2)

    He was informed of the incident by someone inside the bldg..

    He came outside and asked me to furnish him transportation to Parkland Hospital. I drove him and two other agents to the hospital. We went to Trauma One, where President Kennedy was being treated. I remained with Mrs. Kennedy during this very sad time until he was pronounced dead. The body was placed in a very beautiful wooden casket and we escorted the party to the hearse that carried the body and Mrs. Kennedy to Air Force One, at which time they were returned to Washington.

    I hope you are able to read my writing.

    Sincerely,
    Robert Dugger

    Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,224 ✭✭✭✭✭

    More great stuff.

    Great that that you got Neil Armstrong. I also got him, at the end of his responding days

    I got more than my share of George Bush and Jimmy Doolittle.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,224 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Back in the day I focused more on letters than photos. They were toughed to get, especially when I wrote to people and essentially asked them to send me a letter with good content.

    The one standout reply I got was from Edward Teller. He discussed his role in developing the first nuclear bomb, the role of nuclear weapons in war, and nuclear energy.

    I did have an idea to write to the US Embassy in Afghanistan after the Soviets invaded, and per my request they sent me one of the official photos of President Carter that had been displayed at the embassy. Some years later I had it autographed by President Carter.

    It sure has gotten tougher to get these types of replies in the modern era.

  • philographerphilographer Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice story @JBK , and yes, content is king.

    Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, Nobel Prize for Peace

    Abe Spitzer, radio operator on Nagasaki atomic bomb mission

    Glenn Seaborg, Nobel laureate for Chemistry

    Bob Woodward, journalist, Watergate

    David Hubel, Nobel laureate, Medicine

    Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,224 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 17, 2020 12:21PM

    Those are great.

    I got a few letters from Begin. Two are especially important to me.

    When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 there was great joy that it signalled the potential collapse of communism in Europe, but it also caused some unspoken anxiety at the prospect that the two Germanies might one day be reunited.

    I wrote to Begin for his opinion, and he was unequivocal that the post-WWII boundaries must be respected, as many countries in Europe still had great concerns over Germany. I recall one line from his letter: "Thank you for putting to me the difficult question."

    The West German government had initially assured everyone that there was no intention of ever reuniting West Germany with East Germany, but when East Germany officially ended communist rule the momentum was for reunification. When the US and other Allied powers signalled that they would accept it, it was full steam ahead.

    So, several months after my first reply from Begin, I wrote again and he replied and recognized the inevitability of reunification but said the world would need to remain vigilant about Germany's intentions.

    Today most people think the wall came down and reunification followed, but thanks to my pair of Menachem Begin letters I know there was quite a bit of drama and uncertainty in between.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,224 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I see that your Begin letter is on the same sort of cheesy stationary as most of mine. Not special paper or fancy printing for the letterhead. Almost the look of a photocopy.

    I wondered if he dictated his replies remotely and they got faxed or emailed to him and he printed them out.

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