Eric P. Newman

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Eric P. Newman (born May 25, 1911) is an American numismatist.[1][2] He has written "works about early American coins and paper money considered the standards on their subjects" as well as hundreds of articles.[3] He has amassed one of the finest private collections of American coins and currency,[1] and is the only living person to have owned all five 1913 Liberty Head nickels.[3]


Newman was born to Samuel Elijah and Rose (Pfeiffer) Newman in St. Louis, Missouri. His interest in coins began at the age of seven when his grandfather gave him an 1859 Indian Head cent. When he was ten years old, he would visit Burdette G. Johnson's coin store in downtown St. Louis every couple of weeks; Johnson became his friend and mentor.[2]

Newman earned a bachelor of science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1932 and a Juris Doctor from Washington University in St. Louis in 1935.[2] He then practiced law until 1943. The following year, he was hired by Edison Brothers Stores, rising to executive vice president in 1968, before retiring in 1987.

While attending MIT, Newman became slightly acquainted with E. H. R. Green, himself a coin collector. Newman and other students were given the use of Green's private radio station at Round Hill, Massachusetts, to follow Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd's first Antarctic expedition (1928-1930).[3] After Green died in 1936, Newman raised $600 from his family and purchased some currency notes from the estate. After he told Burdette Johnson about it, Johnson put up the money to buy most of Green's collection, including the only five known 1913 Liberty Head nickels.[3] Newman's favorite coin, however, is a unique 1792 pattern in gold which he believes was owned by George Washington.[3][4]

Newman married Evelyn in 1939. The couple celebrated their 72nd anniversary in 2011. They have two children, Linda N. Schapiro and Andrew E. Newman. In 2003, the Newmans donated two million dollars to Washington University in St. Louis to establish the Newman Money Museum on its campus.[3] It opened in 2006 and displays part of Newman's collection on a rotating basis.


Among his many honors are the Archer M. Huntington Medal (the highest award of the American Numismatic Society[1]) in 1978[4] and the Medal of the Royal Numismatic Society in 1991.[5] The American Numismatic Association inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 1986 and named him Numismatist of the Year in 1996.[1] The American Numismatic Society commissioned a bas relief portrait which was presented to him at his 100th birthday celebration.[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Liam Otten (December 10, 2003). "Background on Eric P. Newman". Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Eric P. Newman Medal". American Numismatic Society. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Michele Orzano (June 13, 2011). "Eric P. Newman reflects on life, looks ahead". Coin World. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Robert Wilson Hoge (Summer 2003). "Eric P. Newman: A Collector Profile". ANS Magazine (American Numismatic Society publication). Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  5. ^ "The Royal Numismatic Society - Medals and Prizes". Royal Numismatic Society. Retrieved June 2, 2012.