American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society



George C. Miles (1904-1975)

George C. Miles, ca. 1973

The leading Islamic numismatist of his generation, George C. Miles first came to the ANS in October 1937 as Research Assistant in Muhammadan Numismatics. Earlier that year, Miles had earned his doctorate in Oriental languages from Princeton University, where he had also earned his A.B. in 1926 and M.A. in 1930. From 1937 to 1938, Miles studied the Society's Islamic coin collection, verifying earlier work by Howland Wood and publishing his thesis as the magisterial Numismatic History of Rayy, which was issued by the ANS as the second monograph in its Numismatic Studies series.

After teaching at Princeton University and serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Miles returned to the ANS in 1946, where he initially served as Curator for Islamic Coins and studied the extensive collection of coins that Archer M. Huntington had donated to the Hispanic Society of America. The results of Miles' research on this collection were subsequently published in the ANS's Hispanic Numismatic Series.

In 1954, Miles succeeded Sydney P. Noe as Chief Curator for the ANS, a position he maintained until 1969. In 1966, Miles was also named Executive Director of the ANS, a position he retained until his retirement in 1972. Miles also served as Secretary from 1966 through 1968.

During his lifetime, Miles published 16 books and more than 75 articles. Miles also received numerous honors and awards, including the ANS's Archer M. Huntington Medal Award (1949), and medals of the Hispanic Society of America and Royal Numismatic Society (1957).

Miles was a member of the American Philosophical Society, the Board of Scholars of Dumbarton Oaks, the Bureau of the International Numismatic Commission, and the Executive Committee of the Encyclopedia of Islam. In addition, Miles held honorary membership in the Société Française de Numismatique, the Société Belge de Numismatique, the Royal Numismatic Society, the Institut d'Egypte, and the Academies of Cordoba and Madrid.

George Miles died on October 15, 1975, at the age of 71.