Early in the 20th Century: The Autopen, a fake autograph producing machine, is invented.
1920s: The Big Five of sports, Red Grange, Bobby Jones, Bill Tilden, Jack Dempsey and Babe Ruth emerge. Dempsey and Ruth in particular are considered by autograph experts to have been great signers and to have helped popularize getting autographs at baseball parks and boxing gyms.
1963: President John F. Kennedy murdered in Dallas. As a consequence, Presidential visits are much more closely followed by police and secret service men since.
1980s: The killing of John Lennon as well as attacks against Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II affect the hobby: entertainers and political figures rebuff their security detail after these incidents. The autograph collecting boom era begins.
2003: Television show Celebrities Uncensored debuts, showing entertainers as they act in public unaware that they are being filmed, and giving autograph collectors an insight of who likes to sign autographs in person and who doesn't. An internet website announces it is selling the copy of the Double Fantasy album that John Lennon autographed for his killer, Mark David Chapman, for $530,000 dollars. The former Miss Venezuela, Verushka Ramirez, is kidnapped and released only after autographing 15 calendars for her captors.
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