July 03, 2008

Gene Hessler wins prestigious Farran Zerbe Memorial Award for Distinguished Service


The latest issue (July 2008) of the Numismatist has a great article about Gene Hessler and his winning the American Numismatic Association's highest honor. The honor is especially hightened by the fact that the recipient has worked tirelessly promoting paper money collecting in a hobby dominated almost entirely by collectors of metal coins.

From my earliest days collecting currency, Hessler has been THE towering force in the paper hobby. His works include:
  • U.S. Essay, Proof and Specimen Notes
  • An Illustrated History of U.S. Loans
  • Comprehensive Catalog of U.S. Paper Money
  • The Engraver's Line
  • The International Engraver's Line
  • Buy and Sell Guide to U.S. Coins
  • Buy and Sell Guide to U.S. Paper Money
  • Collecting Large Size U.S. Paper Money
  • Collecting U.S. Obsolete Currency
In addition, Hessler's articles have appeared constantly in numismatic periodicals including Paper Money, Bank Note Reporter and the Numismatist.

His stack of awards keeps growing and you have to wonder how he possibly finds time for anything else. Never mind that he is a superb musician who's worked with the likes of Woody Herman and Buddy Rich and played in the orchestra pits of Broadway! He has yet another book coming out, a memoir of his music career titled, Hey Mr. Horn Blower."

I mean really! Does this guy sleep???

The announcement of the award appears in a nicely-done article in the Numismatist by Fred Schwan. (Fred is the guy who took the chance and published the first edition of my catalog.) You may read the article in its entirety online at http://thenumismatist.idigitaledition.com/. The article starts on page 50. Pay special attention to the 1974 picture of Hessler and NBC's critic Gene Shalit on page 53. If that picture doesn't convince you that Gene Hessler is a musician, I don't know what it will take.

Please note that Hessler's book, The Engraver's Line, is focused fully on the engravers and companies of the security printing industry that created paper money, stamps and stocks and bonds. If you don't already have the book, you really owe it to yourself to put a copy on your bookshelf. You can buy the book from Amazon, numismatic book dealers, and from me at Papermental.com.

I hope that every one of you will join me in extending congratulations, good will and appreciation to Gene Hessler, a true giant of the hobby. All you have to do is add a comment below and I will make sure that Gene gets the message.

1 comment:

Paladin said...

Congratulations to Gene on this great honor. I have a number of his books including the Engraver’s Line. Top notch writer and always enjoy his work.