David Hendin

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David Hendin
Born (1945-12-16) December 16, 1945 (age 70)
St. Louis, Missouri
Education Horton Watkins (Ladue) High School (1963)
University of Missouri, Columbia (1967)
Missouri School of Journalism (1971)
Occupation Ancient coin expert, journalist, publishing executive, author
Spouse(s) Jeannie Luciano (m. 1985)
Children Sarah (b. 1972), Ben (b. 1975), Alexander (b. 1990)

David Bruce Hendin (born December 16, 1945) is an American leading expert in ancient Jewish and Biblical coins and artifacts.[1] He is also known for his earlier career as a medical journalist, newspaper columnist, publishing executive, and author. Hendin’s published books range from the groundbreaking bestseller Death as a Fact of Life to the standard reference Guide to Biblical Coins.

Early life and education[edit]

Born and raised in St. Louis, Hendin is the son of Dr. Aaron and Lillian Hendin. He graduated Horton Watkins (Ladue) High School (1963), which recognized him in 2002 as one of 37 distinguished alumni in the school’s 50-year history. He attended the University of Missouri, Columbia, and received his BS degree in Biology (1967) and his MA degree from Missouri’s School of Journalism in 1971.

Jewish-Biblical Numismatic (coins) Expertise[edit]

Hendin is well known as an authority on Biblical and ancient Jewish coins. He has published more than a 20 articles in this field in scholarly journals and has been an invited speaker at symposia in Italy, Great Britain, Israel and the United States. His monthly column, Biblical Coins, has appeared in the numismatic magazine, The Celator, every month since 1988 – more than 200 articles, which resulted in the Numismatic Literary Guild award for “Best Magazine Column,” in 2000 and 1993.[1] In 1996 he received the Ben Odesser Judaic Literary Award for his writing on ancient coins of the Holy Land.[2] In 2003 he received the Presidential Award of the American Numismatic Association.[2] He is also an adjunct curator at the American Numismatic Society.[3]

Hendin’s books and articles about coins and pre-coinage currency and weights of the ancient Middle East span his more than 40-year study of the subjects. In 1985 and 1986 he was chief numismatist of the Joint Sepphoris (Israel) Project excavations under the auspices of Duke University (Eric and Carol Meyers) and Hebrew University (Ehud Netzer). As chairman of the numismatic committee of the Jewish Museum in New York, Hendin worked with the late Prof. Ya'akov Meshorer to prepare and acquire coins for the exhibit, and edited the catalog Coins Reveal in 1983.[4] Hendin also edited and published Ancient Jewish Coinage Vols. I & II, by Ya’akov Meshorer and the English edition of A Treasury of Jewish Coins by Ya'akov Meshorer. In 1992 he was elected a Fellow of the American Numismatic Society and is now a Life Fellow. Hendin has donated many significant numismatic and archaeological objects to the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and as a result was honored in 2001 as a Sponsor of the Israel Museum.[5]

Hendin’s interest in ancient Jewish and Biblical coins began during a year-long stint as a volunteer of Israel’s Six-Day War in 1967–68, during which he learned to speak Hebrew and taught biology at an agricultural high school near Ashkelon. Previously his father, Aaron Hendin, a St. Louis physician, had been a long-time collector and student of ancient Jewish coins. But it took a year of living in Israel for the younger Hendin to spark to the subject. Once he began his studies, however, he did not let up and he was mentored for decades by the world leaders in the field including Ya'akov Meshorer, Professor of Archaeology and Numismatics at Hebrew University, founding curator Numismatic Department and Chief Curator of the Israel Museum; Dan Barag, Professor of Archaeology and Numismatics at Hebrew University; and Shraga Qedar, a well known Israeli numismatic scholar. On Meshorer’s death in 2002 Hendin helped establish the Meshorer Prize in Numismatics given by the Israel Museum, and he sits on the board that awards the Meshorer Prize. He is also a board member of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild.[1]

Guide to Biblical Coins, first published in 1976 as Guide to Ancient Jewish Coins, is now in its 4th edition, with a 5th edition expected in 2010. It is one of the standard texts and references in the field.[6] Hendin has lectured at various numismatic societies throughout the U.S. and Israel, including The Israel Museum and the Israel Numismatic Society.

Journalism career[edit]

In 1993, after a 23-year career, Hendin left Scripps Howard’s United Feature Syndicate/Newspaper Enterprise Association, most recently as senior vice president and editorial director for syndication and president and publisher of The World Almanac Books division. At United Feature Syndicate, Hendin was responsible for signing columnists and cartoonists such as Judith Martin (Miss Manners ), Alan Dershowitz, Scott Adams (Dilbert ), Mayor Ed Koch, Julian Bond, George McGovern, Ben J. Wattenberg, Sen. William Proxmire, Michael Kinsley, Mort Kondracke, Jeffrey Zazlow, Elaine Viets, and Dr. Peter Gott. He also worked with Pulitzer Prize winning muckraker Jack Anderson and cartoonists Charles M. Schulz (Peanuts ), Jim Davis (Garfield ), Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey, Gamin & Patches ), Mike Peters (Pulitzer Prize–winning editorial cartoonist), artist Peter Max, and many others. He launched the first newspaper column that led to America’s 1980s coupon-clipping craze, The Supermarket Shopper by Martin Sloane. In 1992 Hendin was a featured speaker at Ohio State University’s Festival of Cartoon Art.[7]

During his years as a journalist with Scripps-Howard’s news and feature syndicates, Hendin was a medical journalist, and author of more than 1,000 newspaper and magazine articles, Hendin has been honored with many journalism awards, including the American Medical Writer's Association Book of the Year (1977), Medical Journalism Award of the American Medical Association (1972), Blakeslee Award of the American Heart Association (1973), and the Claude Bernard Science Journalism Award (1974). The New York Times has called Hendin’s writing “brilliant and highly sensitive,”[8] and The Washington Post referred to it as “journalism of the highest order.”[9] His book Death as a Fact of Life was serialized for a week in the New York Post[10] and other newspapers nationwide. His books have been translated into Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Hendin’s syndicated newspaper column The Medical Consumer was published in newspapers nationwide for six years. His earlier column, Man and His World, was the first syndicated newspaper column on ecology and ran from 1970 to 1974. During his journalism career, Hendin wrote more than 1,000 articles for daily newspapers and magazines such as Saturday Review, Reader's Digest, and Science News.

From 1971 to 1986 he was Adjunct Professor of Journalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and he founded and directed their New York Science Journalism Program.[11] In 1975 and 1976 Hendin was a lecturer in science and medical journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He served on the boards of trustees of the Scripps Howard Foundation; the Kinsey Institute for Sex, Gender, and Reproduction; The Newspaper Comics Council; The Holy Land Conservation Fund, and of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

In 1993 he became a consultant and literary agent who has counted among his clients Judith Martin, Elaine Viets, Mike Peters, Rabbi Abraham Twerski, M.D., Brad and Guy Gilchrist, Alan Dershowitz, Tom Wilson, the late Charles M. Schulz, and many other talented creators. Hendin was co-executive producer of the 1993 PBS Special Miss Manners and Company.

Hendin has been listed in Who's Who in America since 1974.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Hendin has been married since 1985 to Jeannie Luciano, vice chair and director of trade publishing at W.W. Norton & Co. Publishers. He has three children, Sarah, born 1972, Ben, born 1975 and Alexander, born 1990.


  • 2007: Ancient Scale Weights and Pre-Coinage Currency of the Near East, Amphora Books, NY. ISBN 978-0-9654029-4-1.
  • 2005: Not Kosher: Forgeries of Ancient Jewish and Biblical Coins, *Amphora Books, NY. ISBN 0-9654029-3-2.
  • 1978: The Genetic Connection (with Joan Marks), William Morrow, NY, 1978. (Translations: Hebrew, Portuguese). ISBN 0-688-03265-6.
  • 1978: Collecting Coins, Signet Books, NY. ISBN 0-451-08405-5.
  • 1977: The Life Givers, William Morrow, NY, 1977. (1977 Book of the Year, American Medical Writer’s Association). ISBN 0-688-03035-1
  • 1977: The World Almanac Whole Health Guide, Signet/NAL, NY. Lib. Congress 76-48583.
  • 1976: Guide to Ancient Jewish Coins, Attic Books, NY. ISBN 0-915018-11-X.
    • 1987: Guide to Biblical Coins, 2nd Edition Revised and Expanded, Amphora Books, NY. ISBN 0-88687-328-2.
    • 1996: Guide to Biblical Coins, 3rd Edition Revised and Expanded, Amphora Books, NY. ISBN 0-9654029-0-8.
    • 2001: Guide to Biblical Coins, 4th Edition Revised and Expanded, Amphora Books, NY. ISBN 0-9654029-2-4.
    • 2010: Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition, Amphora Books, NY. ISBN 978-0-9654029-5-8.
  • 1972: Save Your Child’s Life, Enterprise Books, NY, 1972; Doubleday-Dolphin, NY,
    • 1974, Save Your Child’s Life, Revised: Pharos Books, NY, 1986. (Translations: Spanish, Portuguese). ISBN 978-0-88687-291-5.
  • 1973: Death as a Fact of Life, W.W. Norton, NY, 1973; Warner Books, NY, 1974; W.W. Norton, NY, 1984. (Translations: Japanese, Chinese, Russian). ISBN 0-393-30134-6.
  • 1971: The Doctor’s Save Your Heart Diet (recipes by Aileen Claire), Award Books (Grosset & Dunlap), NY. ASIN: B001II11MY
  • 1971: Everything You Need to Know About Abortion, Pinnacle Books, NY. ASIN: B0006W2GPE


  1. ^ a b c Ancient Coin Collectors Guild website
  2. ^ a b c Who's Who in America (1974) ff.
  3. ^ http://numismatics.org/About/DavidHendin
  4. ^ Meshorer, Y. Coins Reveal, Jewish Museum, NY (1983).
  5. ^ Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Annual Report 2002-8.
  6. ^ Gitler, H. A Survey of Numismatic Research 1996–2001, “The Levant.” P. 159
  7. ^ "The 1992 Festival of Cartoon Art," Ohio State University official website. Accessed May 21, 2015.
  8. ^ Broyard, A. “The Obstetrics of the Soul,” The New York Times, Jan. 25, 1973, p. 37.
  9. ^ Edelson, E. “The Art of Dying,” The Washington Post Book World, Jan. 21, 1973, p. 3.
  10. ^ Hendin, D. “Death as a Fact of Life,” The New York Post, 5 page-one headers beginning February 26, 1973.
  11. ^ Weinberg, S. A Journalism of Humanity: A Candid History of the World's First Journalism School, Columbia 2008, p. 131.

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