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William Herbert Sheldon


Author (b. 11/19/1898 d. 9/16/1977)

                Born in Warwick, Rhode Island. Received A.B. from Brown University in 1919, M.A. from University of Colorado in 1923, Ph.D. from University of Chicago in 1926 and M.D. from University of Chicago in 1933.

                Served as a second lieutenant in the Army in WW I 1918 to 1919. Employed as an oilfield scout 1919 to 1920 and a wolf hunter for a New Mexico sheep ranch 1920 to 1921. Married Louise Steger November 23, 1925, and divorced in 1928. Married Milancie Harrison Hill in 1943. They divorced in 1948. She died in 1962.             He had an extensive academic career. He was a high school teacher in Roswell, New Mexico 1921 to 1923. He was an instructor at the University of Texas 1923 to 1924, instructor at University of Chicago 1924 to 1925, assistant professor at Chicago 1926 to 1927, assistant professor University of Wisconsin 1927 to 1931, Professor University of Chicago 1936 to 1938 and research associate at Harvard 1938 to 1942.

                Sheldon served in the U. S. Army Medical Corps in WW II 1942 to 1944. He was the director of a clinic at Columbia University 1946 to 1958.

                Sheldon developed classification system for people described as endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. He wrote noted books in the field of psychology:

                Psychology and the Promethean Will in 1936.

                The Varieties of Human Physique in 1940.

                The Varieties of Temperament in 1942.

                The Varieties of Delinquent Youth in 1949.

                The Atlas of Men in 1952.

                Prometheus Revisited in 1975.

                Sheldon learned about coins from a distant cousin, George Arnold, coin dealer from Providence, Rhode Island. Sheldon worked with the Chapman brothers in Philadelphia around 1910. He discovered new cent varieties 1797 NC-4 in 1935 and 1800 NC-4 in 1945. In 1949 he wrote Early American Cents. It was revised and republished as Penny Whimsy. His books gave the foundation of the 70 point grading system. Sheldon was a charter member of the Early American Coppers club and issued honorary membership number 1.

                Sheldon sold his first collection of large cents to Charles Fisher in 1932 to finance his medical education. His second collection was consigned to Stack's for their auction of October 15-22, 1938. Many coins remained unsold and were offered in a Stack's 1939 fixed price list. His third collection of early large cents, 1793 to 1814, included all 295 numbered varieties and 30 non-collectible varieties. This collection was purchased intact by a contemporary collector. He received the ANA Medal of Merit in 1952.

                He died at his office in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

bio: ConAut; WWWA-7    obit: CW 10/5/77; NN 10/8/77; NYT 9/19/1977; Time 10/3/1977

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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