Many of us were shocked and saddened this week to hear the news of the passing of David Lisot, the longtime numismatic videographer who captured so many great people, presentations and events at coin shows around the country. His videos were regularly featured here in The E-Sylum and most are thankfully archived for all to see on the Newman Numismatic Portal. He died last Saturday morning following complications from minor surgery. Thanks to Mitch Ernst and others for passing along the news.
Bill Rosenblum writes:
"We were supposed to share a table at the Denver Coin Show last week but he called me on Tuesday morning to inform me that he was in the hospital with kidney stones. I then talked to him a few more times last week and he was complaining that he was still in the hospital but hoped to be released on Friday.
"Here are some thoughts about one of my oldest friends in numismatics.
"I first met David in the summer or fall of 1971. His father O. L. (Larry), mother Dottie and siblings Dan and Becky had moved from Houston to Littleton earlier that year for work purposes but they allowed David to stay to finish his senior year of high school. I had just moved to Denver in June and was buying and selling coins (mostly Israeli and Palestinian) around the Denver area. I most likely met him at the Englewood Coin Center while he was there buying Israeli coins. We've been good friends for over 50 years!
"He continued to buy and sell coins and banknotes on a part-time basis while going to the University of Colorado in Boulder. He used to ride his motorcycle to my office on Saturdays where we talked numismatics etc. for hours at the time. After he graduated from CU he went to see someone in the placement office at the school looking for some direction for job possibilities for him. David had a degree in Philosophy and the person who spoke with gave him a list of Boulder restaurants that were hiring waiters. My son, who is an academic, says that today many businesses are hiring humanities graduates (especially Philosophy majors) as they seem to adapt better to the 21st century work environment.
"Luckily David didn't do that but moved to Southern California where he first worked (I think first) at Jonathan's as their world coin specialist. Jonathan's was at that time a hotbed coin store for rising young numismatists in Inglewood near LAX. He later opened a store called Collectorama on Century Blvd. which sold many different collectibles. In the early 80's he held a number of auctions (as Auctions West) in conjunction with the Society of International Numismatists (SIN) conventions. Around that time he also had a daily show on the Financial News Network about numismatics. 5 minutes Monday through Friday.
"He had taken a course (or some courses) at a modeling studio and while I don't think he ever modeled, he learned to be comfortable in front of a camera. And then he learned to be comfortable behind the camera as well. In the early 1980s he moved back to Boulder and began taping conversations with dealers in numismatics and other collectibles. I remember David taping conversations with me and also with another Bill who owned Bill's Sports Collectibles on South Broadway in Denver, one of the first sports Collectibles shops in Colorado. Those first tapings started his company Advision, later he started CoinTelevision which is the banner he had bourse tables under in recent years. He once told a mutual friend that he must have been the most educated man in numismatics because of how many educational seminars and club programs he covered.
"Along the way he was a co-founder of CoinWeek, he popularized his "Cool Coins" takes and interviewed most of the legendary numismatists of the past 40 years. For all he did for our hobby and community I have been a bit perplexed that each year that Coin World has published their special edition of the 100 most important people in numismatics that David was never mentioned.
"I know many of those people and some are friends and I know I'm biased but David belonged in that group. My wife Rita and I, along with our children, Brian and Sarah, considered the entire Lisot family close friends of ours and both families included each other in parties and cookouts. David's parents Larry and Dottie, his sister Becky, his brother Dan were family to us. And his cousin Bob who lived near us in the foothills outside of Denver, Dottie's sister Diane and many of David's fraternity brothers from his days in Boulder; all were family.
"Just some of my memories of my friend David."
Blaine Shiff writes:
"I had the thorough pleasure of sitting with him at a recent PAN dinner. His mind was nimble, and his demeanor was kind. This is a real loss to the numismatic realm."
Chriss Hoffman writes:
"Such sad news, he was a great friend and contributor to all numismatic organizations, always there with his cameras, recording for us to share."
Cindy Wibker of Florida United Numismatists (FUN) writes:
"David was kind and thoughtful, a real gentleman. He had my highest respect as a man, as well as a videographer. I have worked exclusively with David for 30 years as he handled all of FUN's radio and television advertising and recorded all of our educational seminars and other special events. I will miss him greatly on both a personal and professional level. We've lost one of our best. "
Peter Huntoon writes:
"David filled a unique niche in numismatics and will be missed. I was surprised and saddened to learn he died."
John and Nancy Wilson writes:
"It is hard to believe that once again we lost one of the stalwarts in our numismatic hobby David Lisot. Nancy served on the ANA Board with David and she said his service was always for the betterment of the ANA and or numismatic hobby. Over the many years David taped educational programs, coin shows and individuals our numismatic world now has an ever lasting treasure trove of all these wonderful programs or events that he has video taped. You will not only find them at
www.cointelevision.com but also the Newman Portal. David was a superb videographer and the work he did in the numismatic hobby would be equal to any work done by a Hollywood cameraman.
"Like many of you reading this we were fortunate to have David video tape many of our programs throughout the years. David and Debbie set up at tables around the country and it was always nice to visit with them. He always had his camera "ready to go" behind his table He was always friendly, honest, knowledgeable and always had a smile on his face. Everyone who met David always had kind words to say about him. Over the years David was the recipient of many awards and honors from organizations such as the ANA, FUN, CSNS and others. David was a good friend and left us way too soon. All of our prayers and thoughts for Debbie and his two children. "
Len Augsburger alerted me to this CoinWeek Podcast where Charles Morgan discusses his work with David.
To listen to the Podcast, see:
CoinWeek Podcast: #168: Remembering David Lisot, CoinWeek Co-Founder
Rick Lank writes:
"Unbelievable news… Becky and I so enjoyed working with him at the May Show – he treated us like old friends – we had the honor to have David film several programs with us working with
Honest Abe and
Uncle Billy (General W.T. Sherman), as well as Bob Evans (SS Central America). He has left us an enormous legacy of great numismatic media work.
"Here is a photo of David at work at last Fall's PAN Show. R.I.P., our friend."
Dennis Tucker writes:
"It's hard to believe he's gone.
"Every loss within the hobby community is a burden, but some people touch so many lives that their passing feels even heavier. David was one of those hobby stalwarts who everybody knows. You'd see him at every convention. It felt like he'd be around forever. Then he's gone and you think, why didn't I run across the bourse and say hello last time?
"He taught me some tricks for being interviewed on camera --- like, button your suit jacket, it will make you look slimmer!
"David was always a complete professional, and a
non-anxious presence in the tumult of the typical coin show. Most people aren't used to public speaking, and being filmed can add to the anxiety. I remember his warmth and good humor, gently guiding speakers through their nervousness if they misspoke or if some minor glitch popped up:
Don't worry, we call this cinéma vérité."
In a Coin World article, Paul Gilkes wrote:
"After spending a number of years as a coin dealer in California, Colorado and Texas, Mr. Lisot transitioned to videography in 1986. In 1999, he founded CoinTelevision.
"Mr. Lisot held memberships in at least 10 numismatic organizations, including the American Numismatic Association, Central States Numismatic Society, Professional Numismatists Guild, and the National Silver Dollar Roundtable, which recognized him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.
"Mr. Lisot is survived by his companion, Debbie Lovell; two siblings; two children; and a grandchild."
To read the complete Coin World article, see:
Hobby videographer David Lisot, 69, dies after minor surgery
Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger writes:
"Under sponsorship of the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society, David Lisot began digitizing his extensive catalog, from 1983 forward, in 2017. By the end of the following year, over 1,500 videos were freely available on Newman Portal, and this grew to 2,000 videos in 2019. Lisot continued to deliver videos from current shows, and today the Newman Portal collection consists of 2,662 videos produced by Lisot.
"In addition to offering an incomparably broad view of the hobby, these videos served as an introduction to hobby figures I had heard about but never met. Somehow it was easier to put John J. Ford, Jr. into context when you heard the thick New York accent and saw with your own eyes the street-smart confidence that he conveyed. Walter Breen, another person I never met, comes across as more thoughtful but not the least bit shy about editorializing. Lisot produced multiple presentations delivered by Eric P. Newman, who I did not meet until he was 98 years old. The video of Newman in his younger years more strongly portrayed not only his innate curiosity, but also his determination to get to the bottom of whatever it was that so fascinated him.
"David was always a gentleman to work with, and his willingness to single-handedly transport A/V equipment to coin and currency shows throughout the country, for nearly 40 years, speaks for itself. This was a truly a labor of love, and future generations will enjoy a view of the hobby that simply could not be communicated through the written word. Moreover, David was committed to archiving his own work, and, without his dedication to such a tedious task, this definitive video record might not have been preserved, much less be available on-demand from any connected screen in the world. David's work will continue to enlighten future generations, and the hobby is truly in his debt. He will be missed.
"The easiest way to explore the Lisot videos on Newman Portal is to select the content type
multimedia on the advanced search page and enter a name or topic in the
search term box.
Living History is a useful search term that links to a series of 1980s interviews with well-known figures including Chet Krause, Eva Adams, Mary Brooks, Harry Forman, and others."
Link to David Lisot videos on Newman Portal:
Link to Advanced Search on Newman Portal:
Thanks, everyone. Another sad day for numismatics. At right is a tribute poster PAN President Tom Uram mounted and displayed at this week's PAN show in Pittsburgh this past week. Please see the next article in this issue for the video where Ben Franklin turned the tables on David and interviewed HIM on camera.
I'm still in shock. I'd spoken with David at most of the recent PAN and Whitman Baltimore shows, and was looking forward to seeing him again at the PAN show. His loss leaves a hole in the numismatic landscape. David was one of the few Truly Good-Hearted People of the hobby. Lord, he will be missed.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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