Barber Sells Astronaut’s Hair for $3,000
Neil Armstrong’s barber sold a bag of the astronaut’s hair for $3000. Armstrong is less than pleased.
Barber sells astronaut’s hair for $3,000 (Cincinnati Enquirer)
The first man to walk on the moon has some sharp words for his barber. About once a month, Neil Armstrong got his hair cut at Marx’s barbershop in Lebanon, Ohio. “Nothing special. Just a regular businessman’s haircut,” said owner Marx Sizemore, 36, of West Chester, Ohio. And then Armstrong discovered that Sizemore had sold a tiny plastic baggie of his hair for $3,000. “He doesn’t come in here anymore,” Sizemore said.
Armstrong’s lawyer, Ross Wales of Cincinnati, contacted Sizemore by letter, warning that legal action will be taken unless Sizemore agrees to return the hair or contribute $3,000 to the charity of Armstrong’s choice. Sizemore has also been asked to pay Armstrong’s legal fees. “I don’t have $3,000 to donate to a charity. And I told his lawyer I’m not going to pay for lawyer fees for someone I didn’t hire,” Sizemore said.
Armstrong, who is 74, resigned from NASA in 1971. He later became an aeronautical engineering professor at the University of Cincinnati. He lives in a Cincinnati suburb and zealously protects his privacy.
Sizemore was approached in May 2004 by an agent for John Reznikoff, who has the largest collection of hair from historical figures, according to the Guinness Book of Records. The collection from more than 100 people includes locks from Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, Napoleon and Elvis Presley. “First I told (the agent) I wasn’t interested, but he kept at it,” said Sizemore, who said he spent the money long ago on bills. “It’s just picking up the trash on my floor after a haircut, anyway.”
Sizemore said the astronaut confronted him and asked him to get the hair back. “The (agent) felt he got a good deal for the money,” Sizemore said. “He didn’t want to return the hair.”
It’s rather difficult to argue that Armstrong’s privacy has been infriged in any meaningful way here. Unless he had some sort of contractual obligation to the contrary, one would think ownership to the clipped hair would transfer to the barber, anyway. To the extent Armstrong has a claim, it would presumably be against Reznikoff, who is the one marketing Armstrong’s name.