Money raised will go to the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University
The boots and dog tags that Alan Alda wore on the set of M*A*S*H for its historic 11 seasons on television will be auctioned on July 28 to benefit the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University.
Alda, who won five Emmys for his work on the show and who wrote and directed the record-setting series finale, kept the items when the show ended in 1983. Heritage Auctions will conduct the auction in Dallas, Texas.
The dog tags were not props but actual tags that carried the names of Hersie Davenport and Morriss D. Levine. Research conducted by the auction house revealed that both men were discharged from the Army in 1945.
“I saw those names every day,” Alda told the Associated Press. “It was an interesting experience to put them on. I wasn’t dealing with props. I was dealing with something that put me in touch with real people.”
Alda said that he kept both items on a shelf in his office, and then stowed in a closet. Auctioning them off after all of these decades made sense to him. “I saw this as a chance to put them to work again,” he said.
Stony Brook University opened the Center for Communicating Science in 2009, a collaboration between Alda, Stony Brook, and Stony Brook’s School of Communication and Journalism, with Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The Alda Center’s graduate and professional development programs help make science more accessible, focusing on building skills and refining strategies that empower researchers and communicators to reach audiences in new and engaging ways.