Former Coin World Editor Margo Russell, 95, died Jan. 26 in Sidney, Ohio.
Mrs. Russell served as editor for 23 of Coin World’s first 25 years of operation, before retiring Feb. 28, 1985. She began her newspaper career in Ohio at the age of 17 at the Sidney Daily News.
In 1960, she transferred her journalism skills to Coin World, a new sister publication to the daily newspaper, and in 1962 she took over responsibility for the editorial department when she was named executive editor; later she was promoted to the editorship.
Mrs. Russell reported on the U.S. Treasury Department as well as the U.S. Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. She testified before U.S. House and Senate committees on a number of hobby-related topics.
In 1964, Mrs. Russell was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to serve as a member of the United States Assay Commission, an honor much sought after in the coin collecting community. The panel was created nearly 200 years earlier as an annual public check to confirm that U.S. coins met with statutory requirements.
In 1970, she was named a member of the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission Coins and Medals Advisory Panel along with 14 congressmen and national figures in art, banking, and numismatics. She was named co-chairman of the panel in 1972. The panel coordinated the selection of designs for the Bicentennial quarter dollar, half dollar and dollar.
She was also a member of the advisory committee for the Research Triangle Institute’s U.S. coinage system study and a consultant to the General Services Administration numismatic program as it prepared to sell the remaining stocks of silver dollars from the Treasury Department’s once vast holdings.
Mrs. Russell was a member of the American Numismatic Association and the American Numismatic Society and an honorary member of collector groups across the country. She was a fellow of the ANS and of the Royal Numismatic Society of Great Britain.
Mrs. Russell received many honors from her peers in the collecting community during her decades of service to the hobby.
She was presented with numerous awards from the Numismatic Literary Guild, including its highest award, the “Clemy.”