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Elvis Presley and The Beatles are still two of the most popular music acts around the world, so it should come as no surprise that their autographs are still among the most forged. PSA/DNA Authentication Services released its list of the most forged celebrity and sports autographs, naming them the most dangerous autographs in the world.
The group listed the late King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s autograph at number one among celebrities. The signatures of George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr collectively came close behind. According to Reuters, PSA.DNA says that less than half of the signatures by these musicians that are on sale have been certified as authentic.
The No. 3 spot is held by Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, who died earlier this year. The popularity of his signature skyrocketed after his death. “Even before he passed away he was very tough to get...It really heightens the level of his market,” Joe Orlando, the organization’s president, told Reuters.
President John F. Kennedy, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, The Doors’ Jim Morrison, Walt Disney and Judy Garland and Clint Eastwood (tie) rounded out the rest of the Top 10 celebrities.
Margaret Barrett of Heritage Auctions in Los Angeles said that one of the problems with autographs from major movie stars is that some were signed by secretaries or other assistants, not the stars themselves. “There was absolutely no financial gain 50 years ago and secretaries and assistants just wanted to make them happy. A lot of times people stumble upon an old box of signed photographs in grandma's attic and don't know they're forged,” she explained.
Yankees greats Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle topped the list of most forged sports autographs.