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Richard Sperry Yeoman


Born Richard S. Yeo. He wrote under the pseudonym Yeoman. He attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Married Marion Junkerman with a daughter. While working as a newsboy he received an Indian Head cent in change. It was the first piece in his collection.

In 1932 he began employment with Whitman Publishing Company. Whitman began to publish coin boards for J. K. Post of Neenah, Wisconsin. With Yeoman's encouragement, Whitman bought the rights to produce the coin boards under their brand name. Yeoman was in charge of promotion. The folder format was introduced in 1940.

Original author of Handbook of United States Coins (blue book) in 1941. The first edition sold for $.50. Later he wrote A Guide Book of United States Coins (Red Book) in 1946, dated 1947. The first edition sold for $1.50.

Author of A Catalogue of Modern World Coins in 1957 also known as the "brown book." The Yeoman numbering system was popularly accepted. Whitman bought the rights to Coins of the World Catalogues from the estate of Wayte Raymond. This was incorporated into the brown book. As the size reached a theoretical limit, the foreign series was split off into a second book. Yeoman wrote Current Coins of the World as the second in that series.

He was elected to the ANA board of governors in 1946. In 1951 his exhibit won “Best-of-Show.” He received the ANA Medal of Merit in 1952 and the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award in 1957. He served on the Assay Commission for 1964. In 1973 he donated 1764 world coins to the ANA. He was named a Numismatic News Numismatic Ambassador in 1977. In 1978 he was elected into the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame. He is pictured on the 1986 ANA convention medal.

At time of death he was a resident of Tucson, Arizona.

profile: 10/24/72

obit: NUM 101 Jan 1989 page 140-141


Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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