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A story associated with Michael Jordan is that he once sold a shirt autographed by Farrah Fawcett for $1250. A common year given is ~1976. This doesn't seem plausible. Is this story true?

Below is an excerpt from a Quora question on the subject.

When he [Michael Jordan] was 13 years old, his father gave him a piece of used clothing and asked: "What do you think the value of this outfit would be?"

Jordan replied, "Maybe one dollar."

His father asked, "Can you sell it for two dollars? If you can sell it, it would mean that you are a big help to your father and mother. "

Jordan nodded his head, "I'll try, but no guarantee that I'll be successful."

Jordan carefully washed the clothes clean. Because they didn't have an iron, to smoothen out clothes, he levelled it with a clothes brush on a flat board, then kept it in the sun to dry. The next day, he brought the clothes to a crowded underground station. After offering it for more than six hours. Jordan finally managed to sell it for $2. He took the two dollar bill and ran home.

After that, everyday he was looked for used clothing, washed and ironed it and sold it in the crowd. More than ten days later, his father again gave him a piece of used clothing, "Now think of a way that you can sell these clothes for 20 bucks?"

Jordan said, "How is it possible? This outfit can only fetch two dollars at the most. "

His father replied in an effort to inspire him, "Why don't you try it first? There must be a way."

Finally, Jordan got an Idea He asked for cousin's help to paint a picture of Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse on the garment. Then he tried to sell it in the school where the children of the rich study. Soon a housekeeper, who was there to pick his master, bought clothes for his master. The master was a little boy of only 10 years but was very fond of clothes. He loved it so much and he gave a five dollar tip. 25 dollars was a huge amount for Jordan, the equivalent of a month's salary of his father.

When he got home, his father gave him yet another piece of used clothing. "Are you able to resell it at a price of 200 dollars?" His eyes lit up.

This time, Jordan accepted the clothes without the slightest doubt. Two months later a popular movie actress from the movie "Charlie's Angels", Farah Fawcett came to New York for her Movie promos. After the press conference, Jordan made his way through the security forces to reach the side of Farah Fawcett and requested her autograph on the piece of clothing. When Fawcett saw this innocent child asking for her autograph, she gladly signed it.

Jordan was shouting very excitedly, "This is a jersey signed by Miss Farah Fawcett, the selling price is 200 dollars!"He auctioned off the clothes, to a businessman for a price of 1,200 dollars!

Upon returning home, his father by broke into TEARS and said, "I am amazed that you did it My child! You're really great! "

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    It couldn't have happened in 1963 because that was the year Michael Jordan was born, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen at all. He would have been 13 in 1976, just as Fawcett rose to fame for her role in Charlie's Angels. – F1Krazy Mar 3 '19 at 9:01
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    I suspect the story is fake, but it's hard to prove a negative. One thing I'll note (because I only just spotted it) is that the story repeatedly refers to Charlie's Angels as a movie, when it was a TV series. The movies came much later, and didn't have Farrah Fawcett in them. – F1Krazy Mar 4 '19 at 6:52
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    Jordan's family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina when he was a toddler and he lived there until he went to college. Wilmington has no subway and no underground stations. – Legion600 Mar 4 '19 at 7:49
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    Minimum wage was $2.30/hour in 1976. Did his father only work 10 hours a month? – Tashus Mar 4 '19 at 18:45
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    This reads like a Michael Jordan fan fiction. – JMac Mar 6 '19 at 13:23
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There are multiple incorrect facts in the story included in the Quora post.

Michael Jordan was an African-American man, born in 1963, in the slums of Brooklyn, New York.

He had four brothers and his father's wages were not sufficient to provide for the whole family.

First falsehood right here. Michael Jordan did not have 4 brothers. He did have 2 brothers and 2 sisters, but his youngest sister was born in Wilmington, NC.

He grew up in a poor neighbourhood which was full of discrimination, to the point where he could not see any hope for the future.

Another big problem here. Michael Jordan didn't grow up in New York City but moved to Wilmington when he was a toddler.

When he was 13 years old, his father gave him a piece of used clothing and asked: "What do you think the value of this outfit would be?"

This implies that this takes place in 1976 or 1977. Again, Jordan was living in Wilmington, NC at the time.

Jordan nodded his head, "I'll try, but no guarantee that I'll be successful."

Jordan carefully washed the clothes clean. Because they didn't have an iron, to smoothen out clothes, he levelled it with a clothes brush on a flat board, then kept it in the sun to dry. The next day, he brought the clothes to a crowded underground station. After offering it for more than six hours. Jordan finally managed to sell it for $2. He took the two dollar bill and ran home.

Another inconsistency in the story. Wilmington, NC does not have a subway system. It sounds like someone made this story up just looking up that Jordan was born in Brooklyn and extrapolated from there.

The master was a little boy of only 10 years but was very fond of clothes. He loved it so much and he gave a five dollar tip. 25 dollars was a huge amount for Jordan, the equivalent of a month's salary of his father.

From @Tashus above, Minimum wage was $2.30/hour in 1976, which would imply that he only worked 10 hours a month. Furthermore, Michael's father, James R Jordan Sr, was a supervisor by profession at a General Electric plant and was presumably making much more than minimum wage.

Two months later a popular movie actress from the movie "Charlie's Angels", Farah Fawcett came to New York for her Movie promos. After the press conference, Jordan made his way through the security forces to reach the side of Farah Fawcett and requested her autograph on the piece of clothing. When Fawcett saw this innocent child asking for her autograph, she gladly signed it.

Once again, Jordan did not live in New York in 1976. Also, this would be approximately his freshman year of high school, and Jordan was apparently around 5'11 at this time. Fawcett, by comparison, was 5'6.. Also note that this basically forces the story to take place in 1976, as Fawcett was only on the TV Show Charlie's as a main character for the first season.


It should also be noted that, after this question was answered, the Quora answer was taken down and no longer exists on the site.

  • Also, Charlies Angels was not a movie, it only existed as a TV show at that time. – plasticinsect Nov 4 '19 at 23:42
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    @plasticinsect I thought about including it, but there was actually a direct to TV movie for Charlie's Angels that came out in March of 1976. Admittedly, this movie was closer to a pilot than an actual movie, as the plans for the series only came out after the movie. However, it was still 76 minutes long and was technically billed as a movie. This doesn't change the fact that this story was probably made up out of thin air and the creator was probably right due to sheer luck than anything else. – DenisS Nov 5 '19 at 14:59
  • I stand corrected. I remember the TV show well, but did not realize there was a movie. – plasticinsect Nov 5 '19 at 18:54
  • @plasticinsect in all honesty I thought I forgot to include it when you mentioned it, but going back to the Charlie's Angles wiki page showed I was wrong. It's not just you who forgot about it :) – DenisS Nov 5 '19 at 19:16
  • I'm not sure how much weight to give to the fact that this does not read at all like something written by a native of the US. While it's possible for a non-American to become interested in an American sports figure, come across a story about them, and rewrite it from a non-American perspective, it does cast more doubt on the story. – Acccumulation Nov 14 '19 at 18:30

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