Richard Mantia writes:
Now that Eric Newman is 100 years old I wanted to take a moment to simply say Happy Birthday and THANK YOU to him. His greatest achievement is not reaching 100 years of age, but of the lasting legacy of knowledge and the benefit to society that he has provided us. He truly is the living embodiment of Benjamin Franklin's philosophy in "doing good" for the world. Mr. Newman has taught us all about ourselves by uncovering facts and re-discovering our history.
Medallic tributes to him are certainly befitting, but the best honor that can be bestowed upon him is the inspiration others find in his life and the new discoveries that are made because of his pioneering works. His museum and foundation are examples of a man who cares and who is humble about what he has achieved. It has been said that "Great Men" aren't born to greatness, they become great by their actions and Eric Newman is such a man and "Great" is a word most appropriate for him. He clearly is a great numismatist, a passionate scholar, but he is an even greater human being because of his deeds. I have met him once in person and was honored then.
Thank you Mr. Newman for a century of life and for making the world a better place! The world needs more people like you in it. Perhaps if I can keep my mind active with research and make positive contributions to society then I may too live as long.
In the fine tradition during "The Age of Enlightenment", I close with.
Respectfully and Humbly, Your most Obedient Servant,
John Kraljevich forwarded this article published this week about Eric in his old prep school paper.
"Everything's happened to me in the world," said Mr. Eric P. Newman, one of the students who witnessed the opening day of John Burroughs School. On Friday May 20th, The World was fortunate to have the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Newman at the home he shares with wife Evelyn, just three days before his hundredth birthday. Upon entering the Newman household, the history that has permeated Mr. Newman's life becomes almost tangible with each step.
The John Burroughs community knows Mr. Newman as the namesake of the annual Newman Prize for juniors. However, what you may not know is that Mr. Newman was involved in a WWII naval battle while on his honeymoon, has a collection of 10,000 books and pamphlets of coins and paper money, interpreted a scene from Shakespeare's Hamlet that no scholar had ever analyzed before, attended MIT, traveled to all seven continents, published his findings on Audubon birds, is a self-described "ice cream-aholic," and, most significantly, attended the opening day of John Burroughs School in 1923.
Mr. Newman explained that John Burroughs began as a neighborhood effort for a co-educational school with a trolley that ended its path where, what is now Laughing Lake, began. Since the school had not completely finished renovations on Mr. Newman's first day, he states, "They handed me a shovel and we went to work digging a trough for the plumbing."
During his time at Burroughs, he fostered his love for history. Sprouting from this love of history came a love of coin collecting. Every three or so weeks, after young Eric Newman had saved enough of his allowance, he would travel on a downtown streetcar to St. Louis Stamp and Coin Store to purchase a new coin for five cents. One day, the owner, Mr. Johnson told him, "Eric, I wont sell this to you for five cents. Here is a book. If you can come back and recite to me what you know, I will sell you this coin." From that day on, Mr. Newman has gotten his hands on any book within his reach, as demonstrated by the large collections of books located all over the house.
Mr. Newman has been a lifelong historian and explorer, traveling to Europe for the first time in his Freshman year, and then again as a Junior. "Traveling is without doubt the most educating experience anyone can have," says Mr. Newman of his years of globetrotting. From Mongolia, Afghanistan, New Guinea, and the islands of the Indian Ocean, to Mozambique, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, and Spitsbergen (as near to the North Pole as you can get), Mr. and Mrs. Newman have visited every continent at least five times. Upon first hearing this fact, The World inquired if Mr. Newman meant all but Antarctica, to which he responded, "O pardon me, Antarctica we've only been to once."
To read the complete article, see:
ERIC P. NEWMAN (‘26) TURNS ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD!
Here's a Coin World article by Michele Orzano on Eric Newman.
Anyone who doubts that a man who has reached his 100th year could still have a sense of humor has never met Eric P. Newman.
Shortly before his 100th birthday on May 25, he was asked how he would like to be remembered and Newman quickly responded, "I am not dead yet so do not write a premature obituary."
"My mother died when she was 55 and my father when he was 65 — I'm the lucky one," Newman said. "Medicine and numismatics have kept me alive."
To read the complete article, see:
Eric P. Newman reflects on life, looks ahead
Here are a couple photos of the presentation of Eric's Rittenhouse Society medal.
That's Dick Johnson presenting the medal to Eric.
Ben Weiss writes:
In regard to the recent award to Eric Newman, your readers of e-sylum might be interested in hearing this oral interview of Eric Newman.
Interview of Eric P. Newman by John Adams and John Sallay
John Adams and John Sallay interview Eric P. Newman, longtime collector and author specializing in Early American numismatics. In this hour-long, two-part interview, conducted in 2009, Eric discusses his early years as a collector, his relationship with Burdette G. Johnson, their purchase of much of the Col. Edward H. R. Green collection, and his more recent activities with his numismatic foundation and museum.
The complete interview may be heard online on the section on Oral History of Medalic Art on the The Medal Collectors of America's website (below).
Wayne Homren, Editor
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