Raleigh DeGeer Amyx

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Raleigh DeGeer Amyx
Raleigh-degeer-amyx-in-library-permission-given.jpg
Raleigh DeGeer Amyx in his library, October 2011
Born 1938 (age 75–76)
Kansas City, Kansas
Nationality American
Occupation Historian, collector
Known for Collector of historical memorabilia
Website
The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx collection

Raleigh DeGeer Amyx (born 1938) is an American collector of Presidential, Americana, military, sports, NASA, and Olympic artifacts, including gold, silver, and bronze winners medals presented to athletes.[1]

Early life, education[edit]

Raleigh Degeer Amyx with the FBI in 1957

Amyx was born in 1938 in Kansas City, Kansas, and later moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he resided during the World War II years. In 1945, his father, Eugene Raleigh Amyx, accepted a transfer by his employer Johnson & Johnson, to Louisville, Kentucky. There Raleigh was raised until his graduation from Atherton High School.[2]

Career[edit]

Amyx served in the U.S. Army and worked at the FBI.[2] At one time he served in the Investigation Division, which included the kidnapping and white slave trade units. He served as a Messenger to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. In 1957 Hoover presented an inscribed and signed sepia-toned photo to Amyx.[2][3][4][5] About the same time, Amyx was asked by the Director's Office to take a message to the then Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Lyndon B. Johnson, and to then Senator John F. Kennedy.[2] While in the Senate Office with Kennedy, Amyx asked him to inscribe and sign a photograph, to which he obliged.[2]

Later Amyx became an Association Executive,[6] overseeing and co-authoring the Gymnastics Safety Manual.[7] Following a near-fatal illness from throat cancer,[2] Amyx founded American Heritage Manuscripts and Collectibles.[4]

Collector[edit]

Amyx claims he started collecting at age seven, when he "opened" a museum consisting of some coins, stamps, butterflies and a dead bat. Admission was 2 cents.[4] Amyx's large private collection as an adult is specialized in Presidential, Sports, Military, and NASA collectibles, particularly those owned and used by famous Americans.[8]

Presidential collection[edit]

A photograph of the painting Eisenhower did of Telegraph Cottage where he lived during WWII

In the early 1980s, Amyx claims he saw Backstairs at the White House, a television mini-series adapted from the book My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House by Lillian Rogers Parks, who had been a housekeeper and seamstress at the White House for thirty years. Amyx was inspired to gather mementos from former White House employees into a collection, and placed numerous advertisements in the Washington Post. One response said, "You don't know who to leave all this stuff to. You'd be out on a walk with the president and he would say 'Here's a little something for you'....We took it for granted in those days. It was just work. Now it's history."[4] Amyx has stated he recognized the historical importance of the both the items and the stories, and gathered signed provenance letters from each contributor to authenticate the items.[4] Amyx has since worked with some 100 people who have held long-term household positions for First Families since the days of Herbert Hoover,[5] and some whose parents and/or grandparents served in the White House as far back as the 19th century. In Collecting Magazine, Heather Holmber referred to Amyx as "An evangelist for American history, a virtual walking encyclopedia with a penchant for Presidential memorabilia."[9]

Dwight Eisenhower's Rolex watch, from the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection

His official White House china collection ranks as the world's second-largest privately owned such collection. One piece from the collection was traded to Robert L. McNeil and is featured in the book American Presidential China.[8] Another item in the collection is President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Rolex Datejust, which is the 150,000th officially-certified Rolex Chronometer made. This watch was featured in Jake's Rolex World Magazine.[10]

Sports collection[edit]

Amyx has a collection of sports collectibles relating to baseball, football, boxing, horse racing and the Olympics. Amyx possesses three official Super Bowl rings presented to Washington Redskins players in 1982, 1987, and 1991.[11]

Olympic memorabilia

According to the Olympian Collectors Club, his Olympic Medal and memorabilia collection ranks within the top four collections in the world.[12] His collection includes over 50 Olympic Winner’s medals in gold, silver, and bronze dating back to 1896.[12] He is a member of the International Society of Olympic Historians, with research interests in the Olympic Movement, Olympic history, promotion of Olympic Games, and Olympic gymnastics.[13]

Media presence[edit]

Amyx has acquired, authenticated, and appraised historical items for collectors and for entities such as the Smithsonian Institution.[2] Portions of the Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Presidential collection have been exhibited at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.[4]

He has made national television appearances, such as on Good Morning America. His collection was filmed by ABC. In addition to TV, a number of newspaper[3][14][15][16] and book references[17][18][19][20] have mentioned him and his collection.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jordan, Charles (1987). The Official Price Guide To Collectibles Of The '50s and '60s. New York: Random House. pp. 143–148. ISBN 0-87637-548-4. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Wealth Perspectives, July 2010
  3. ^ a b San Francisco Chronicle. January 19, 1984. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Harrington, Walt (December 20, 1985). "Relics Make American History : Memorabilia Collector Has Presidential Aspirations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  5. ^ a b The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Oct 8, 1983. 
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of Associations, Volume 3, Part 3 edited by Frederick G. Ruffner, Margaret Fisk
  7. ^ Gymnastics Safety Manual: the Official Manual of the United States By United States Gymnastics Safety Association, Eugene Wettstone and Raleigh DeGeer Amyx
  8. ^ a b American Presidential China: the Robert L. McNeil Jr. Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art / Susan Gray Detweiler (page 76)
  9. ^ Collecting. April 1996. 
  10. ^ "Rolex". Jake's Rolex World Magazine Team. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  11. ^ Shields, Todd (January 25, 1997). "Super Bowl Rings Now in Hands of Collector". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  12. ^ a b Olympian Collectors Club 2008, 2009
  13. ^ . ISOH (International Society of Olympic Historians). 2009.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ The Fauquier Citizen. March 26, 1993. 
  15. ^ The Washington Post. January 25, 1997. 
  16. ^ Motorcars Unlimited. October 1979. 
  17. ^ "Manuscripts". Manuscripts Vol. 41 (Manuscript Society US). 
  18. ^ Slater, Thomas D. "Historical and Popular Culture Americana". 
  19. ^ Seeley, Mary Evans (June 2007). "Season's Greetings From the White House By Presidential Christmas". 
  20. ^ Kessler, Ronald. Inside the White House p. 48-49. 

External links[edit]