Being Lincoln: Fritz Klein talks about life as an impersonator

fritz-klein1SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Nov. 9) — Abraham Lincoln strolls into the McDonald’s on South Grand Avenue, buys a cup of coffee, and takes a seat. He’s dressed casually; his beard is gray.

He’s been back in his hometown for only a few days, and must depart soon for an extended tour of the East Coast.

Being Honest Abe is hard but rewarding work, says Richard F. “Fritz” Klein, who has been portraying the 16th president for more than 30 years and is considered one of the nation’s top Lincoln interpreters.

With the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birthday only months away, and a full line-up of events scheduled to honor the Great Emancipator, impersonators across the country are seeing a jump in bookings.

Not Klein, who says he’s been “maxed out” for years.

“I haven’t gotten more business,” he says, “but the people who call tend to call for bicentennial reasons.” Read more of this post