NEWMAN, ERIC PFEIFFER
NEWMAN, ERIC PFEIFFER
Copyright © 2011-2017 John N. Lupia III
May 25, 2016, Happy 105th Birthday!
And if you should survive to 105
Think of all you derive
out of being alive
And here is the best part
You've had a head start
If you are among the very
Young at Heart!
Happy Birthday Eric!
Eric P. Newman is first among the "The Three Magi" of American Numismatics
(Eric P. Newman, Dave Bowers, and John W. Adams)
They are legends in their own time . . .
Men who are rightly called . . .
"The Three Kings of American Numismatics."
Eric P. Newman (1911-2017) was born at St. Louis, Missouri on May 25, 1911, son of Dr. Samuel Elijah Newman and his wife
He attended college at M.I.T. and graduated with a B.S. in 1932.
In 1933 he won the Class A Squash Racket title at the YMHA, St. Louis.
In 1935, he graduated with a J.D. from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, and that August passed the bar exam.
In 1939, the year of the New York World's Fair, he advanced as a collector and was named Secretary of the Central States
Numismatic Society. That same year he married his wife Evelyn, and they have two children, Linda N. Schapiro and Andrew
He practiced law from 1935 to 1943 when he entered the corporate world working for Harry Edison, president of
Edison Brothers Stores, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. In 1968 he was promoted from Treasurer to Executive Vice President and
Secretary of Edison Brothers Stores, Inc., St. Louis, Missouri. He retired from corporate life in 1987, and approaching his
30th anniversary of retirement. And the best is yet to come!
The Eric P. Newman Story
According to the above text published by the University of Rare Coins, on page 9 Eric is allegedly referred to as a "Living Ledged"
though we know him to be a "Living Legend in His Own Time"
Eric Newman has enjoyed one of the longest and most colorful numismatic careers in American history.
He is loved by countless collectors who have enjoyed reading his well researched articles and books on numismatics
which spans 75 years in 2016. That's longer than the Chapman Coin Dealing Dynasty (1875-1948). Among the numerous
anecdotes are such stories as the time B. Max Mehl asked him to be a shill bidder in one of his auctions, and the moral
giant of integrity Newman flat out told him, "No!"
He began collecting coins at the age of five in 1916 the same year the St. Louis Numismatic Society (founded
October 1915) joined the ANS. It was when when grandpa Pfeiffer gave him an 1859 Indian Head copper-nickel cent. At the
time the coin was fifty-seven years old. Today it is one hundred and fifty seven years old. In other words, Eric Newman has
been collecting coins for a whole century now and didn't even start with a red cent, it was gray.
Fig. 1. College Photo of 20-year-old Eric P. Newman while in his Junior year at M.I.T. in the 1931 Yearbook.
He entered the coin world in his youth when at age ten he befriended Burdette G. Johnson, the second owner of
St. Louis Stamp and Coin Company, St. Louis Missouri in 1921. He applied for membership in the ANA in December 1934,
and in January 1935 was given ANA Member No. 4624. On February 15, 1938 Newman is among the founders of the Missouri
Numismatic Society and is elected first Vice-President.
In the sixteen years from 1921-1937 he amassed quite a collection. In October 1937 he loaned part of his numismatic
collection to The Boatsmen National Bank, St. Louis, 90th anniversary exposition. He was an attorney with the law firm of
Taylor, Chasnoff, and Wilson, Boatmen's Bank Building.
Fig. 2. Little known fact -- Newman is a member of the MMS - the Missouri Mumismatic Society. St. Louis Dispatch, Sunday 10 April, 1938, page 40
In May 1939 the then twenty-seven year old Newman was appointed Secretary-Treasurer of the newly formed Central States Numismatic
Society. The announcement was published in the May issue of Numismatic Scrapbook.
Fig. 3. O happy day! An engagement! St. Louis Dispatch, Tuesday 12 September, 1939, page 17
Fig. 4. An even happier day - A wedding! Kudos to the bride and groom!! St. Louis Dispatch, Thursday 30 November, 1939, page 25
Fig. 5. Oldest rendering of St. Louis worth ten bucks. St. Louis Dispatch, Sunday 5 October, 1941, page 69
Fig. 6. St. Louis Dispatch, Sunday, October 31, 1943, page 48
During the 1940's together with Burdette G. Johnson (1885-1947), Newman acquired a large portion of the Colonel Edward Howland
Robinson Green (1868-1936) coin collection.
On April 2, 1948, Newman gave an illustrated presentation lecture on early money of the West at the
Missouri Historical Society, Jefferson Memorial, Forest Park.
Fig. 7. Newman's Confederate Half Dollar. Troy Record, Friday, January 19, 1951, page 16
In June 1952 he was appointed the Assistant Secretary of the Missouri Historical Society.
Fig. 8. Eric's Muse and True Love--Evelyn Newman using a late 19th century cash register much like the one now in the Newman
Money Museum. St. Louis Dispatch, Sunday, November 14, 1954, page 100
Fig. 9. A twentieth anniversary trek through Russia. Here they rest at Minsk. Wish I was there! St. Louis Dispatch, Monday, October 12, 1959, page 41
In 1962 he co-authored with Ken Bressett, The Fantastic 1804 Dollar.
Fig. 10. The Fantastic 1804 Dollar. First Edition.
Figs. 11 & 12. Indianapolis Star, Beckley Post, Tuesday, January 1, 1962, page 4
Sunday,December 2, 1962, page 70
In 1967, he published The Early Paper Money of America, which is now in its 5th edition, with a 6th edition forthcoming.
Fig. 13. The Early Paper Money of America. First Edition.
Also in 1967 Eric Newman mastered the thorny subject of cleaning coins giving a whole new meaning to the phrase and
simultaneously also to another "How to pick a coin."
Fig. 14. Photo of Newman holding a thorn with his right hand and a dirty silver dollar in dire need of cleaning in his left. St. Louis Dispatch,
Sunday 26 March 1967, page 99
Fig. 15. Newman happily at work teaching us "how to pick a coin". St. Louis Dispatch, Sunday 26 March 1967, page 99
Fig. 16. In 1976 he co-edited with Richard Doty, Studies on Money in Early America.
In 1978, he was the recipient of the Archer H. Huntington Award from the American Numismatic Society.
In 1986, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Numismatic Association.
In 1991, he was awarded the medal of the Royal Numismatic Society.
In 1994, he established the Eric P. Newman Education Center on the campus of the Washington University
Medical Center, St. Louis, Missouri.
In 1996, he was named "Numismatist of the Year" by the American Numismatic Association.
In 2003, he donated two million dollars to his Alma Mater, Washington University to establish the
"Newman Money Museum". The Museum has been opened to the public since 2006.
In 2011, the American Numismatic Society commissioned and minted a medal with his portrait on the occasion of his centenary.
In 2013, he sold part of his coin collection through Heritage Auctions for $23 million
Roger Burdette, Joel Orosz and Len Augsburger published early 2016 a biography of Newman titled, Truth Seeker :
The Life of Eric P. Newman.
On May 25, 2016 Newman set the world's record with a century of collecting coins, paper money and other stuff and
75 years of writing and talking about them.
Eric P. Newman, the Methuselah of American Numismatics passed away on Wednesday November 15, 2017 age 106 1/2 years old.
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From the Book Store . . .
St. Louis Dispatch, Friday, 7 April, 1933, page 52.
The Numismatist, Vol. XLVII, No. 12, December (1934) : 803
The Numismatist, Vol. XLVIII, No. 1, January (1935) : 33
ANA Member Directory of 1935
St. Louis Dispatch, October 19, 1937, page 11.
“Eric Newman Appointed CSNS Secretary,” Numismatic Scrapbook, Vol. V, No. 5, May (1939) : 242
Numismatic Scrapbook, Vol. V, No. 5, May (1939) : 242
St. Louis Dispatch, Thursday, April 1, 1948, page 23
St. Louis Dispatch, Saturday, June 14, 1952, page 3
Jim Moores, "A Glorious Day at the Eric Newman Money Museum," Missouri Journal of Numismatics, Vol. 33, August (2008) : 22-23