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Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Meet 5 Other Famous Abe Lincolns

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Abraham Lincoln, as you’ve probably noticed, is a pretty popular president. If that isn’t evident by his likeness on the penny, the splendor of the Lincoln Memorial, or his massive 60-foot face on Mount Rushmore, you can tell by the number of children who were named after him. In honor of what would have been his 207th birthday, here are five men who also answered to the presidential moniker.

1. ABRAHAM LINCOLN NEIMAN // CO-FOUNDER OF NEIMAN MARCUS

If you’re a fan of top designers and incredible customer service, then you have Al Neiman to thank. Neiman, along with his wife, Carrie Marcus, and her brother, started an advertising agency in Atlanta. They sold the agency for $25,000—though they could have accepted stock in the fledgling Coca-Cola Company instead—and started the Neiman Marcus department store.

Sadly, Al and Carrie divorced, and she retained the rights to the business. Though he tried various business ventures over the years, Neiman mishandled his money and died in 1970 at the age of 95 with nary a penny to his name.

2. ABRAHAM LINCOLN ERLANGER // THEATRICAL PRODUCER

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Along with his partner Marc Klaw, Erlanger owned a theatrical booking agency back in the vaudeville era. He became reviled when the agency created a monopoly that controlled all contracts and bookings for more than a decade. He also ignored demands from the Actors’ Equity Union in 1919, causing a strike that shut down productions in New York, Chicago, and Boston.

3. ABE LINCOLN // DIXIELAND JAZZ TROMBONIST 

Abe Lincoln could really wail on the trombone—Abram Lincoln, that is, studio musician and Dixieland jazz musician. His accomplishments include performing solos for the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show, and later providing sound effects for Woody Woodpecker cartoons and Buster Keaton movies.

4. ABRAHAM LINCOLN LEWIS // BUSINESSMAN AND FLORIDA'S FIRST BLACK MILLIONAIRE

Amc333 via Wikimedia Commons // CC0

In 1901, A.L. Lewis helped found Florida’s first insurance company, the Afro-American Life Insurance Company. By 1919, he was president—and the first black millionaire in the state, not to mention one of the richest men in the South. In 1935, Lewis purchased 200 acres of land in Florida called American Beach and turned it into a place where families could vacation without worrying about discrimination or racism. Boxer Joe Louis, writer Zora Neale Hurston, and entertainer Cab Calloway were all regulars—but for the most part, it was just a place for regular families to go somewhere for "relaxation and recreation without humiliation."

5. ABRAHAM LINCOLN SALOMON // TITANIC SURVIVOR

Getty

Abraham Lincoln Salomon was the owner of a wholesale stationery business in New York, but his real claim to fame was surviving the sinking of the Titanic. Salomon, a first class passenger, boarded lifeboat 1—the infamous boat that left holding just 12 passengers—and made it safely to the Carpathia. His family remembered him as a reclusive man who spoke very little, even at family gatherings, and believed his brush with death changed him deeply.

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Barack and Michelle Obama's Next Move: Producing Content for Netflix
Mark Wilson, Getty Images
Mark Wilson, Getty Images

Barack Obama's first talk show appearance after leaving office was on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, David Letterman's six-part series on Netflix. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that one of the Obamas' first projects since moving out of the White House will be a storytelling partnership with Netflix.

On Monday, the streaming service announced that they've entered into a multi-year deal with Barack and Michelle Obama, who produce films and series under a company called Higher Ground Productions. So what can we expect from the former president and first lady? According to Netflix, they will be producing a "diverse mix of content," which could take the form of scripted and unscripted series, documentaries, and features.

"One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience," Barack Obama said in a statement. "That's why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix. We hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world."

The former first lady added that Netflix was a "natural fit" for the kinds of stories they want to tell. According to The New York Times, Barack Obama said he does not intend to use the platform for political ends.

Last year, the Obamas signed a joint book deal with Penguin Random House worth $65 million. Michelle's memoir, Becoming, will be published on November 13, while details about Barack Obama's memoir are forthcoming.

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Alexander Gardner, U.S. Library of Congress/Getty Images
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The Lincoln Library May Have to Sell the President's Hat and Blood-Stained Gloves to Pay Off a Loan
Alexander Gardner, U.S. Library of Congress/Getty Images
Alexander Gardner, U.S. Library of Congress/Getty Images

Two of the most valuable artifacts in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum may be shut away from the public for good if the institution can't pay off its debt. As the Chicago Tribune reports, the presidential library's foundation took out a $23 million loan in 2007 to acquire a collection of items that once belonged to the 16th president. Over a decade later, the Springfield, Illinois institution has yet to pay back the entirety of the loan—and it may have to auction off some of the very items it was used to purchase to do so.

The 2007 loan paid for most of the $25 million Barry and Louise Taper Collection, which before moving to the library was the largest private collection of Lincoln memorabilia compiled in the last half-century. It features 1500 items, including many of Lincoln's personal belongings and writings.

The foundation still owes $9.7 million on the loan, which comes up for renewal in October 2019. In order to avoid financial trouble and retain the majority of the artifacts, the foundation is considering auctioning off two of the most valuable pieces in the collection: A stovetop hat thought to have belonged to Lincoln and the blood-stained gloves he wore on the night of his assassination.

As long as they're in the museum's possession, the artifacts are available for the public to view and researchers to study. If they end up on the auction block they will likely go home with a private buyer and become inaccessible for the indefinite future.

While the Lincoln library is run by the Illinois government, the foundation is privately funded and run independently. The foundation appealed to Governor Bruce Rauner for financial assistance earlier this month with no success. Springfield-area Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, however, tells the Chicago Tribune that she is looking into ways to relieve the museum's financial burden.

If the state doesn't follow through with funding, the foundation does have a backup plan. The Barry and Louise Taper Collection also includes a handful of Marilyn Monroe artifacts sprinkled in with the Lincoln memorabilia and some of those items are going up for auction in Las Vegas on June 23. Revenue from a dress worn by Monroe, pictures of her taken by photographer Arnold Newman, and a bust of poet Carl Sandburg that once belonged to the icon will hopefully offer some relief to the foundation's outstanding debt.

[h/t The Chicago Tribune]

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