Prominent Hobby Journalist Ed Reiter Passes

by on August 24, 2017 · 4 comments

Ed Reiter

Ed Reiter, former New York Times numismatics columnist, dies at 79

Ed Reiter of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, a one-man institution in coin writing for over half a century, died at the age of 79 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on August 24. According to his wife, Patricia, the cause was multiple organ failure.

At the time of his death, Reiter was still a powerful force in journalism for the coin hobby and trade, serving as senior editor of COINage magazine for his 32nd year and executive director of the prestigious non-profit Numismatic Literary Guild in his 27th year.

He was also still serving as an active consultant to a number of numismatic firms including the Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC), Littleton Coin Co., and Universal Coin & Bullion.

Over the course of over 50 years, Reiter opined on all matters numismatic, first as an editor in Iola, Wisconsin of the hobby publication, Numismatic News. He was later a newspaper columnist for The Asbury Park Press and then wrote his flagship numismatics column for nearly a decade, July 1979 to January 1989, that appeared in the weekly Arts and Leisure section of The New York Times.

After his retirement from the Times, he continued his coin writings in The Bergen Record in New Jersey, where he served as an editor for the paper. Between 1998 and 2002, he won four first-place awards (four out of five years) from the New Jersey Press Association for Best Headline Writing, reflecting his penchant for wordplay and puns.

Reiter received many awards for his work other than headline writing. The Numismatic Literary Guild presented him with its lifetime achievement Clemy in 1986; he was awarded the Burnett Anderson Memorial award in 2014 jointly by three coin hobby organizations (American Numismatic Association, American Numismatic Society and Numismatic Literary Guild); and his writings garnered a cumulative 61 honors, many of them for his monthly COINage column, "My Two Cents’ Worth."

In 2002, he authored The New York Times Guide to Coin Collecting, which was published by St. Martin’s Press.

Reiter graduated from Aquinas Institute, Rochester, NY, in 1955 and received his B.A. from St. Bonaventure University in 1959.

He leaves his wife, Patricia, and her mother, Stella Domski; three daughters: Allison (Amodio), Caroline (Estabrooks) and Jennifer (Merrill); two sons: Christopher and Timothy; two grandchildren: Gavin Estabrooks and Cullen Estabrooks; three-sons-in-law: Michael Amodio, Jason Estabrooks and Lee Merrill; and a brother, Paul. He was predeceased by a sister, Patricia Bongiovanni.

Scott Travers, author of The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual and a former vice president of the American Numismatic Association, worked with Reiter for 37 years and was one of his closest friends. Travers had one of the last telephone conversations with him.

"Ed’s voice was uncharacteristically weak," Travers commented.

"He understood that his health was failing, but he told me from his hospital bed how a nurse was tugging at his right leg to wrap it in a bandage."

"I used Ed’s own style of humor with him," Travers said. "I told Ed that the nurse might be joking about all of this, and that a speedy recovery could be on the horizon." Reiter curiously asked how Travers would know that.

"Because she’s pulling your leg," Travers replied.

"Ed could hardly contain his laughter," Travers reported. "And that was the last time we talked," Travers said.

"Ed Reiter’s sense of humor, unique writing style, and strong leadership will leave a void in our hobby and industry, but his spirit and plays on words will live on in perpetuity through his great writings and archived public pronouncements."

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Seth Riesling August 24, 2017 at 11:24 am

May Mr. Reiter RIP. He was such a gentleman & great numismatist. I met him in 1986 at the ANA convention & attended the Numismatic Literary Guild “Bash” banquet as a new member of that fine organization. He was smart & funny & kind – a rarity for sure.
My condolences go to his family & friends.


Joe Brown August 25, 2017 at 10:32 am

My Two Cents Worth* page#6+*always, *+ED*+*REITER+*, when i* read the news, i went looking for my COINage* mag’s, they brought a tear to my eye for *+Mrs.Reiter and your family, and a *smile to my face, which does not happen to much late’ly, first one i found was a April 2011. ”I HIDE THEM FROM MY PERFECT WIFE —–::::not:::: —– or they will vanish, she thinks there the daily paper. You wrote about *DUMB AS A HOCKEY PUCK* as *you say, your the first to use that term* puck , ten months early’er, ”penguins or flyer’s” fan maybe, because *you notice that the dimensions of the ponderous new coinswould closely approximate those of a standard hockey puck.And it was the first for me.*I smiled when you called them about as useful as *Micronesian Yap stones.* Because, so to say, our *mint spent big bucks$$,$$$$,$$$ on equipment to produce them. & it ended up shot changing proof & burnished silver*Eagles, none in 2009 the year before our*mint minted them, because our*mint was stocking up for the 5.oz pucks. Congress mandated 100,000. & our *mint made 33,000 & jacking up the price.No burnished in 2010 also. The price$ for a puck was not good for the average joe*& new* collect’er, so to speak, you kind of said it that way, well that’s the way i* read it anyhow. I could always *indentify & always two or three good grins, **THANKS** for educating me, *i mean it. You were afraid to call it like you see it, in a very great way. BTW, i* always felt we had some thing kind of in common, your college* way up *Rochester,NY. i* lived & worked up there in last half of a cold snowy wet winter of 1980, 81, & good part of 82* the year, well you* missed it by a couple of decades, 82 was the year at *your very nice *+catholic school all the very friendly nice girls went to *+Aqiunas, we made some good friends there, Lake Ontario spring break & summer, home town girls also, kegs of genisea river malty, but always cold & cheap$ beer. Holiday inn* pool party’s over looking the great muddy waters & nice view of the *Genisea Brewrey* on the river, they put on an excellent 4th of July fire works display& *i seen some great 1’s. I know your with *+GODS *MOST *PRECIOUS *COINS *+God has a wonderful home for *you, 50 years *WOW* you earned it.* Favor if you happen to sea a guy that looks like Norman Rockwell pipe glasses sweater, he was the owner of my sacred+* coin store a few blocks up from my *Home, he got up & went *+PUFF+* one day, i* never new the name of his store or his name, i never looked up, just look all the coins in small store window, still have some Indian Heads for a nickel, dime , fifteen cents before 1900 kept a dime for candy store next store. Well if you sea him, give him a pat on the back & a hug that man has patients of a Bull Fighter, it seems like a dream* to me*.O*ya cent*s your first choice was to write music like the oldy*s but good*es before *Rock* like *Goodman &all the greats, my Uncle *+Ernie is there to a *famous music credit, for a world read news paper he knows them all+* he would love to meet you* he also has a love of coins, i* don’t no where they went, & i* did not ask no one, i would love to know, who got his 14*k, 1878 Morgan$ wrist watch & it was not 14k plated, i loved that cents i* was about *7, i* think* he* has been trying to tell me, he knows i*m a late bloomer, that’s why i* asked him to help me write like him. He said wing it. I don’t think he could spell ether. Some day i*m going to shake your hand+*,Ed Reiter* God willing not for a dam long long time & in good health, way to much stuff i* want to do in this world+* enjoy+*peace+*thanks again.

Joe Brown August 25, 2017 at 11:11 am

woop’s*you were ***not*** afraid to to call it like you sea it. sea you much later *i hope+* alligator.+*

Vachon August 26, 2017 at 9:52 am

He used to shop at the supermarket I work at. I still have the two 2004-D Westward Journey nickels he brought back from a trip: he figured I wouldn’t find uncirculated ones on the East Coast. He also presented me with a signed and dedicated copy of his book before he moved away (Here’s something new for you to “check out”! Best Wishes, Ed Reiter 8/9/02).

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