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This is what a contemporary Life Member certificate looks like circa the 2000's. I obtained my Life-member status in January 2012, though it took until May for them to process the certificate + letter, and then mail them to me . . .

The certificate was delivered in a stiff textured black envelope, embossed w/ logo, and the letter was also inside. 

~ ~ ~

Ever since I was 10 years old I had wished to be a Life member, and it would have been a wish fulfilled to have gotten mine at a time when I could have had then-Editor Wilbur Garrett and then-President & Chairman Gilbert M. Grosvenor sign mine, but alas I was stuck w/ Chris Johns/John Fahey, sigh. The 1980's decade was a high-water mark for the Society and magazine (near 12 million membership!), the centennial, the new HQ, the production value of the mag + books + maps, the Specials & "Explorer" on tv, etc. 

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Below are the certificate and what the (form) letter look like ---->      **frame not included : - )

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Well done Scott!

Mel

Cool!  How does one become a Life Member?

Hi John,

Ideally, you are one of the "explorers" who contributes to science and discovery. Or, you are a key politician or benefactor or foreign dignitary who receives an "honorary" life membership status. They've done this for generations . . . 

. . . the rest of us ordinary folk (like me) need to purchase it, via a sizable "donation" to the Society's important work. Here is a current link to obtain such --->

https://shop.nationalgeographic.com/product/magazines/national-geog...

Pricey, though it has the benefit of contributing to their mission and work, as well as not ever having to do a renewal. If you get one young/soon enough, it is economical too, as you lock in the rate and save money over your lifetime, since, the Mag prices keep going up. Plus you get a special phone # to call (if needed) other than the normal customer service #, ha ha.

best, 

 ~ Scott S.

I see!  Very interesting.  I just sent in a contribution along with a survey request I received, but this is a little rich for my blood at this point in time.  Who knows, though, someday...

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