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Lot #1192
Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Greatest female athlete of all time

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Greatest female athlete of all time

An interesting Babe Didrikson archive containing two different documents, each signed “Babe D. Zaharias,” with one of the documents also initialed “B.D.Z.” eight times and some auxiliary pieces, including a number of publishing contracts for her 1955 autobiography, This Life I've Led Most of the contracts date from the year of publication and involve numerous stipulations. The main contract, dated May 12, 1955, is between Didrikson and the A. S. Barnes Company for the rights to her autobiography. Didrikson has a time frame of three months to deliver at least a 75,000 word manuscript, as well as provide all necessary photos. Didrikson will receive $.375 for each copy sold of the first 10,000, with a lower royalty on each additional copy sold, with other royalty agreements for international copies sold. This document is signed twice, “Babe D. Zaharias,” and initialed another eight times. The archive also contains a photograph and a TLS, dated May 4, 1956, from her husband pertaining to the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Cancer Fund. Three months before his wife’s death, George Zaharias wrote: “The month of June is going to be Babe Zaharias Cancer month. We are asking the golf clubs to hold an event any day during that month for the Babe’s Fund… Babe is feeling pretty good.” Also included is the telegram her husband sent to friend and agent Fred Corcoran the morning of her death, pertaining to funeral arrangements. A majority of the included letters and papers indicates, there was a dispute between the Saturday Evening Post and A. S. Barnes & Company over publishing rights. Particularly interesting are the numerous changes in the publisher’s rights to a movie script. Included in the archive is a portion of the independent script sent to Warner Brothers for possible cinematic production. While writing her book, Didrikson was stricken with cancer. A successful operation in 1953 and the U.S. National Open and All-American Open titles in 1954 indicated recovery. In 1956, however, Didrikson’s cancer recurred and she died that September. In fine overall condition. Certainly a wealth of information about the somewhat complicated publication of Babe’s autobiography during the final year of her life. R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #330 - Ended February 13, 2008