Space Cover #261: Buzz Aldrin chooses not to commercialize
Surely no astronaut has capitalized on his name and fame as well as the second man to walk on the moon. His hefty signing fees are well known, as well as his frequent autograph appearances.
But it wasn't always like this, as he was a cooperative and generous signer for free for many years and many collectors of the days when our hobby was young and innocent, were the recipients of free and well-applied autographs from Buzz thruough the mail.
In 1973, as a new collector, I sent a couple of Apollo 11 covers to Aldrin at his business address to sign. They were returned unsigned, with a form letter enclosed from his wife informing me that he's not signing covers anymore. Buzz himself penned a notation to the letter to advise me that some stamp club probably has autographed covers available, and he added that he has chosen not to sign covers because of commercialization and chooses to stand firm on this. But not wanting a fan to be disappointed, he kindly enclosed two signed items: the photo card personalized to me shown here and also a signed index card.
Well, things change, but his decision not to sign covers hasn't, except for a year or two prior to the tenth anniversary of Apollo 11. During that time, Buzz did sign covers and lucky collectors were able to get the final signed covers that Buzz would agree to sign. (Several years ago, on one occasion, he did agree to sign covers, although for extremely high prices.) An Apollo 11 PRS cover is also shown here that he did sign nicely for me in 1978 during his final period of signing covers.