I'm putting the finishing touches on a Lazarus Long Halloween costume, and I've run into a bit of a question. I have a vague recollection of one of Heinlein's books stating that Lazarus never grew a beard, but googling doesn't turn out any reference to it. Does anybody remember any passages which describes Lazarus either bearded or stating that he could not grow a beard?

  • I think you're right that there are statements about him not favouring facial hair and generally not having any, but I can't think of any specific quotes offhand. Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 18:14
  • About the costume, you know he favoured kilts, do you?
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 19:31
  • I may have spent last night sewing a kilt. Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 19:32
  • Don't forget a blaster on one thigh, and a knife on the other... both concealed by the kilt...
    – K-H-W
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 20:34
  • You'd be surprised how hard it is to find a toy gun these days. Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


He's grown one, at times, but usually isn't described as having one; his suggestion that one 'changes his looks' implies that having one is NOT his normal.

From 'Time Enough For Love' (when he's telling Ira about all the jobs he's had over the years.)

"Eventually I was chief stooge to the very official who had confiscated my ship and trade goods years earlier, and I was helping him get richer while getting rich myself. If he recognized me, he never said so - a beard changes my looks quite a lot. Unfortunately he fell into disfavor and I wound up with his job."


The Long family did not specifically have any reasons they could NOT grow beards (most human subgroups can) but with the advances in both technology and rejuvenation, I don't see any reason for a person from that universe to grow a beard except as an affectation.

Rejuvenation was relatively available and affordable, so a person had the option to look as old or as young as they wanted to. Humanity had by the time most of the books about Long were being written advanced to a level where human appearance was just one of cosmetic alteration.

Lazarus always struck me as more than a little vain, so it would not surprise me to see him never growing a very long beard, if he ever grew one at all. It would be a beard designed to show him as a refined individual, something stylish, never one that would be long, indicating great age (or in his case wisdom).

  • Ooh, he'd hate that word, wisdom.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 19:30

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