Prominent Hobby Journalist Ed Reiter Passes

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."

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Seth Riesling

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

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… Read more »

Joe Brown

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


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).