6065

Mercury Astronauts LIFE Magazine Payment Letter

Currency:USD Category:Collectibles / Autographs Start Price:NA Estimated At:2,000.00 - 3,000.00 USD
Mercury Astronauts LIFE Magazine Payment Letter

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Auction Date:2016 Oct 20 @ 18:00 (UTC-5 : EST/CDT)
Location:236 Commercial St., Suite 100, Boston, Massachusetts, 02109, United States
ALS - Autograph Letter Signed
ANS - Autograph Note Signed
AQS - Autograph Quotation Signed
AMQS - Autograph Musical Quotation Signed
DS - Document Signed
FDC - First Day Cover
Inscribed - “Personalized”
ISP - Inscribed Signed Photograph
LS - Letter Signed
SP - Signed Photograph
TLS - Typed Letter Signed
TLS signed “Leo,” one page, 5.5 x 8.5, Law Offices of De Orsey and Thompson letterhead, November 22, 1960. Letter to “the boys” of Project Mercury, in full: “I have asked Life Magazine to move up their 1961 payment. Enclosed is copy of letter I have received from them. I enclose checks for $20,000, being your share of the $140,000 received.” Text along bottom reads, “Copy for each Astronaut.” Includes a duplicate of the referenced letter, directed to Leo De Orsey from Life Magazine’s C. D. Jackson, in part: “I enclose herewith two checks in the amount of seventy thousand dollars…each, payable to you on behalf of the so-called Astronauts and their wives. These checks represent a prepayment of the amounts agreed upon to be paid by Time Inc. to you pursuant to the agreement between us dated August 5, 1959…the next payment to be made to you shall occur upon the completion of the first orbital flight by an Astronaut.” In fine condition. A tax lawyer from Washington and former acting president of the Washington Redskins, De Orsey represented the original seven astronauts pro bono, and was instrumental in landing the group’s exclusive $500,000 contract with Life Magazine, a deal that would introduce the American public to the heroes of Project Mercury. Amounting to around $4 million by today’s standards, the sum was shared evenly between each astronaut, with each man earning just under $24,000 per year over the course of the three years the Project Mercury was scheduled to run. A remarkable letter in which De Orsey distributes the first payment from Life Magazine.