Alan Alda’s M*A*S*H boots and dog tags sell at charity auction for $125,000


The combat boots and dog tags Alan Alda wore while playing the wisecracking surgeon Hawkeye on the beloved television series “M*A*S*H” have sold at auction for $125,000.

Alda held onto the boots and dog tags for more than 40 years after the show ended but decided to sell them through Heritage Auctions in Dallas to raise money for his Stony Brook University center dedicated to helping scientists and doctors communicate better.

The buyer’s name has not been released.

Alda, 87, said he wore the boots and dog tags for the 11-season run of the show about a Korean War medical unit. His character, Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce, was a talented surgeon who helped ease the stress of working in a war zone with quips and practical jokes.

The show’s final episode — it aired in 1983 and was written and directed by Alda — was the most watched TV show in U.S. history.

The boots and dog tags, authentic items that had belonged to soldiers, “made an impression on me every day that we shot the show,” said Alda, who won five Emmys for his work on the sitcom.

Alda said auctioning off the dog tags and boots on Friday made sense. “I saw this as a chance to put them to work again,” he said.

The money raised from the auction will go to the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in New York, which aims to help scientists and doctors communicate better through the use of improvisational exercises and other strategies.

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