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As UU pointed out, you are stuck with the donor's basis (the basis of the person who gave you the shares). So MAKE SURE that person provided you with the PROOF of the basis (such as purchase confirmations back from 1941).

Actually, having confirmations going back to 1941 might not even be much good. Suppose this company spun off a division back in the 50's. You'd still have your original shares plus whatever shares you'd gotten of the new company. The basis in the original company would be less than $10,000 now. Further suppose you were only given the original stocks and not the ones that were spun off. How do you (or a broker for that matter) research what spinoffs and splits happened decades ago that would affect your basis in this gift?
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