Skip to main content

David L. Wolper

June 2024
1min read


One day, when I was a young man in high school in New York, I walked by the gallery of an autograph dealer on Fifth Avenue—Walter Benjamin Autographs. I wasn’t a fan of Lincoln. I just wanted an autograph. So I bought my first: a little cut signature of Abraham Lincoln.

After that I became more and more interested in history, and more and more interested in Lincoln. I began reading everything about him. When people in my business would complain to me about how tough things were, I’d say: “Wait a minute! You got it easy, kid! Try to grow up in a lean-to, like Lincoln. Try to grow up in the life of Lincoln!” Talk about perseverance. He ran for office five times and lost, and then he became President.

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.