Chester L. "Chet" Krause, founder of Numismatic News and builder of the hobby publishing empire Krause Publications in the small town of Iola, Wis., died June 25 at age 92.
Mr. Krause founded Numismatic News in October 1952 at the kitchen table of his family's home in Iola as a one-page newspaper that quickly expanded readership as collector interest grew. Over the years, Mr. Krause added other individual numismatic titles dedicated to paper money, world coins and coin pricing.
Mr. Krause also expanded into book publishing to include the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money and Standard Catalog of World Coins.
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A life member of the American Numismatic Association, Mr. Krause was the recipient of every award the worldwide collector organization could bestow.
A member of the ANA Numismatic Hall-of-Fame, Mr. Krause was awarded the Medal of Merit, Glenn Smedley Memorial Award (1991), Exemplary Service Award, Numismatist of the Year (1999), Lifetime Achievement Award, the Burnett Anderson Memorial Award (2009) and the ANA’s highest honor, the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award for Distinguished Service (1977).
Elected to the ANA Board of Governors in 2007 and re-elected in 2009, Mr. Krause had to step down from the board in 2010 because of health reasons.
During his decades of numismatic collecting, Mr. Krause assembled an extensive collection of Canadian coins as well as collections of obsolete and national bank notes, focusing heavily on issues of Wisconsin. At the time of their auction in 2009, the collection of Wisconsin obsolete notes was considered by many numismatists to be the most comprehensive collection of obsolete notes formed on a single state.
While numismatics was Chet Krause's primary publishing focus, Krause Publication also published periodicals on sports cards, records, comics, guns, stamps, collector automobiles, military vehicles and more. Krause's military service during World War II as an auto mechanic with the 565th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, part of Gen. George S. Patton's 3rd Army, triggered Krause's interest in military vehicles, an area in which he built an extensive collection.
Mr. Krause began weaning himself from the day-to-day operations of Krause Publications beginning in 1990 as he divested himself of ownership interest.