American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society



Edward T. Newell (1886-1941)

Image courtesy American Numismatic Association

Edward T. Newell, the ANS's longest-serving President and perhaps the greatest numismatist of his generation, was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1886. He attended Yale University, from which he earned his bachelor of arts in 1907 and master of arts in 1909. It was during his tenure at Yale, that the young Newell — just 19 years old — first inquired in 1905 about membership in the ANS. By 1910, at the age of 24, Newell was elected to the Society's governing Council. In 1916 he was named ANS President, a position he would hold until his untimely death in 1941.

During his lifetime, Newell was considered to be the world's leading expert on the coinage of Alexander the Great and his successors. And Newell's collection — with more than 87,000 coins — was considered to be the largest private collection of Greek coins. Upon his death, Newell bequeathed this mammoth collection to the ANS. It was — and still is — the largest single donation given to the Society.

Newell was a prolific author. From 1912 through 1941, Newell published more than 30 monographs, and left behind numerous unpublished manuscripts. In recognition of his contributions to numismatic writings, Newell received the first Archer M. Huntington Medal Award in 1918. In addition, in 1925, the Royal Numismatic Society awarded him its medal for "distinguished service in numismatic research."

In addition to his association with the ANS, Newell also was a Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society, the British Numismatic Society and the American Numismatic Association. He also served as President of the New York Numismatic Club in the 1930s.

Upon his passing in February of 1941, The Numismatist declared that "[Newell's] numismatic life was an ideal which others may strive to emulate." Newell was only 55 years old.

Bibliography of Newell's published works.