Under the Influence

The earliest-known Elvis signature was found in this unexpected place

Only as recently as 2012 was the first-known autograph of The King discovered, and it was long overdue.
(Getty Images)

If you're an avid book reader, it's likely you have - or harbour a secret wish to - stumble over a valuable book or two in your travels. A few American bookworms have been so lucky.

Singer Elvis Presley poses for a studio portrait. (Photo by Liaison) ( Liaison/Getty Images)

Back in 2012, a library in Memphis was discarding old books and found one titled Courageous Heart: A Life of Andrew Jackson for Young Readers.

The card in the back of the book had been signed out by many students, including a 13-year-old Elvis Presley in 1948. It's the earliest known signature of the King. That library card sold at auction for just under US$12,000.

Another due date slip from a library book titled Death Took a Publisher by Norman Forrest had another interesting signature on it. Signed out from a New Hampshire library in 1959, one of the 17 signatures on it was reclusive author J.D. Salinger - writer of Catcher in the Rye. It also sold at auction for a pretty penny.

And a librarian in Georgia discovered a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird signed by Harper Lee that had somehow been in circulation at the library since the 1970s.

That would be worth somewhere in the neighbourhood of US$35,000 today. Minimum.

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