Published On: Fri, Jun 10th, 2011

FAU Libraries receive gift of Harold L. Glasser memorabilia collection

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BOCA RATON – Florida Atlantic University Libraries recently received a gift in honor of the late Harold L. Glasser, a World War II bombardier who became internationally known during his 27-year career as president of Miss Universe, Inc.

The gift, which consists of a wide variety of memorabilia, was made by Glasser’s widow, Marny, who also has underwritten costs to process, display and digitize the items, in order to showcase the accomplishments of her late husband.

FAU special collections librarian and archivist, Victoria Thur, worked with three students for several months to process the memorabilia, now known as the Harold L. Glasser Collection. According to Thur, the collection tells the story of Glasser’s life from birth to death at the age of 91. “His life was so full,” said Thur. “It is pretty interesting to think that one person was able to accomplish all that he did.”

Glasser received degrees from New York University, Columbia Law School and Harvard Law School, and gave up a career as an attorney to serve in the U.S. Air Force during the war. The collection features memorabilia from his alma maters, as well as highlights from his remarkable military career, including combat decorations such as the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, World War II dog tags, military orders, flight records, photos and certificates.

In 1959, Glasser became president of the Miss Universe organization and by the time his tenure ended in 1986, Miss Universe was an internationally recognized brand. Through his worldwide travels, he met statesmen, politicians and celebrities, many of whose letters and photos are included in the collection.

“Mr. Glasser’s life is a true American odyssey and success story, and there are items of interest here for almost every taste, from a WWII leather bomber jacket to the Miss Universe crown, which he designed,” said William Miller, Ph.D., dean of libraries at FAU. “It is a true privilege for us to establish the Harold L. Glasser Collection of papers and memorabilia, and make it available to students and scholars for research.”

The Harold L. Glasser Collection is housed in the Special Collections and Archives Department at FAU’s Wimberly Library. It is open for public viewing Monday through Thursday, 1 to 5 p.m. or by appointment. An exhibition featuring Glasser’s war memorabilia is scheduled for October through December, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War II.

To see an inventory of the collection, visit For more information, call 561-297-3787.


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