At his centennial milestone, Eric Newman not slowing down

Published : 06/01/11
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Happy birthday Mr. Newman!

Few people enjoy 100 years of life on Earth, but Eric P. Newman achieved that milestone on May 25. He has now added one more title to his many achievements — centenarian.

As those who have been privileged to work with him through the years and continue to do so today can attest, his keen intellect and great wit are ever present. Combine them with his legendary research and contributions to numismatics and you can draw but one conclusion: Eric P. Newman is our “Poster Man” for how numismatics contributes to longevity and keeps one productively engaged in stimulating and worthwhile work.

Researchers report that the United States currently has the greatest number of centenarians in the world. In September 2010 an estimated 70,490 Americans had lived to mark their 100th birthday and receive a congratulatory note from the president of the United States.

Among the numismatic tributes Mr. Newman received in New York City May 29 are medals bearing his image from the Rittenhouse Society and the American Numismatic Society. He was a founding member of the Rittenhouse Society in 1960. He has served the American Numismatic Society for decades in many capacities, including 41 years as a trustee and has also been one of its most generous benefactors.

As your will learn via Michele Orzano’s Page 1 interview with him, Mr. Newman is not about to rest on his laurels. He continues to do research for books and papers he plans to publish in the future and makes use of modern technology as readily as researchers half his age. As he shares memories and recounts working with legendary collectors and dealers you’ll yearn to know more. Thus an obvious question: When can we expect his biography?

Surprisingly he quipped, “I’m too busy living,” adding that he’s never considered writing an autobiography.

The “youngster” Harvey G. Stack shared a similar sentiment recently when he called to confirm that he’s “back.”

Mr. Stack will be 83 on June 3 and declared “retirement” is just not his cup of tea. He joined the ranks of the retired two years ago, but found that he missed working with people, helping them build collections and counseling them about how best to sell their collections.

Harvey and his son, Lawrence R. “Larry” Stack, have joined Stack’s Bowers Galleries as senior numismatic consultants.

While neither of the three may ever write an autobiography, they have plenty of wisdom and knowledge to share, as well as tales of great numismatic adventures. If by chance you have an opportunity to talk with, collaborated with or possibly correspond via email with them or other “longtimers” in the hobby, don’t miss the opportunity to learn from them.

Most of all, observe their zest for life and resolve to enjoy your hobby. We have no doubts it will contribute to your longevity. ■

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