Among those who pursue their passions, few were more passionate than Michael Minor. Michael’s knowledge and expertise in the autograph collecting field was sought by other collectors, museums and fellow autograph dealers. Michael passed away on Dec. 23, 2008, leaving a great void in the autograph collecting community.
Mike was born April 21, 1946 in Bowie, Texas, to his parents David Ritchie Minor and Lillian Ervin Minor, and spent his childhood in Montague, Texas.
He attended Texas Christian University and Midwestern University, and then put himself through law school at South Texas College of Law. A practicing attorney for more than 38 years, Mike worked as a prosecutor in Plainview, Texas, then as Assistant District Attorney for Kaufman County. Later, he worked in private practice in Terrell and Kaufman, Texas until his passing.
Mike was an avid historian and a collector of rare documents of presidents, first ladies, world leaders, royalty, astronauts and stars. He received many personal letters throughout his life from every president from Harry Truman forward, as well as letters from key military leaders from World War II, many of which contained previously unpublished historical information.
Mike’s love of history and autograph collecting grew so much that he made it his business, founding Lone Star Autographs almost 30 years ago with his long-time friend, Larry Vrzalik. The two men, and Lone Star, became highly respected names in the autograph community, building a stock of more than 100,000 autographs and historic documents over time. They remained close friends and business partners to the end.
Mike authored and coauthored several books, including From the President’s Pen, with Larry. The 1991 book on presidential autographs became an important reference work, and Mike and Larry were writing a new edition at the time of Mike’s death.
Mike wrote several internationally circulated articles on historically significant documents, some of which contained previously unknown information about presidents and first ladies. And he contributed chapters in several editions of the Sander’s Price Guide to Autographs.
Mike’s interests were not limited to autographs and practicing law. While still in law school, he became interested in the Holy Shroud of Turin, which is believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. He quickly gained in-depth knowledge of the Shroud, and in 1984 was retained as legal counsel for the Shroud of Turin Research Project, Inc. (STURP), and later the American Shroud of Turin Association for Research (AMSTAR).
While involved with Shroud Research, Mike had the privilege of attending the 1998 and 2000 Shroud Expositions in Turin, Italy. He organized three International Shroud of Turin Symposiums in Dallas in 1998, 2000 and 2005. In 1996, Grizzly Adams Productions, Inc. approached AMSTAR to make a documentary on the new evidence in Shroud research. Mike helped coordinate filming for the documentary in Colorado and Turin. He also coauthored the book Case for Christ’s Resurrection and appeared in several documentaries relating to research on the Holy Shroud of Turin.
Michael Minor will be greatly missed by his family, his many good friends, his clients, colleagues, business partner, and his beloved Schnauzers, Canis Minor and Kaiser.