Senior Barack Obama adviser David Axelrod shaved his trademark mustache – a rarity in official Washington – live on TV Friday after raising $1 million for epilepsy research.
"We're cutting it off because there are people who have lost a lot more than a mustache to epilepsy," said Axelrod, as he prepared to loose his lip hair live on the MSNBC news show "Morning Joe."
Axelrod, 57, who has had a mustache for 40 years, was saved from a hack job when the TV hosts stepped aside and let a professional barber with a straight razor do the job.
One of the first donations in the challenge came from a surprising source: real estate mogul Donald Trump, a fierce Obama critic. "We agree this is a good cause," Trump said in a phone call to the show.
Other donors included actors George Clooney, Tom Hanks and millionaire and basketball team owner Mark Cuban.
Just days before the election Axelrod appeared on the "Morning Joe" show and vowed to shave his iconic mustache if Obama lost the key states of Michigan, Minnesota or Pennsylvania in the November 6 vote.
Obama carried the states, so he later promised to shave for charity.
The money goes to the Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), a group headed by Axelrod's wife Susan Landau. Axelrod also has a daughter who suffers from epilepsy.