Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Graduate of The Citadel in 1943. Married to Joan Looney June 10, 1944. Attended University of Virginia 1948 to 1949.
Commissioned lieutenant in U.S. Army in 1943. He served with ski troops in northern Italy during World War II. He received the Purple Heart for wounds received. He served again in Korea and particpated in the Inchon landing. He also served in Saigon during the Vietnam War. He retired from the military September 30, 1968, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Wilde began collecting coins in 1940 and joined the ANA in 1947. He was appointed Executive Director of the ANA effective July 1, 1968, and retired April 30, 1972. Elected to the ANA Board in 1973. Served as ANA vice president 1979 to 1981 and as 42nd ANA President 1981 to 1983. He was appointed Director of the American Numismatic Association Certification Service and served 1984 to 1985. Since 1983 he has been ANA treasurer. In 1985 he received the ANA Farran Zerbe Memorial Award. In 1991 he received the ANA Medal of Merit and the first ANA Award for Exemplary Service. In 2002 he was inducted into the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame.
He served on the Assay Commission for 1975. Wilde served as Director of the Pioneer's Museum in Colorado Springs September 1, 1973, to 1981.
Wilde wrote "Lesher Referendum Medals Where are They Today?" for The Numismatist of February 1978. For this article he received the Heath Literary Award. He also wrote "Counterstamped Stone Mountain Half Dollars: Where Are They Today?" for The Numismatist August 1987. He continued to maintain inventories of pieces in these two specialty areas.
He died in Colorado Springs and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
profile:NUM 81 Apr 1968 p. 437 (photo) interviewed 8/17/91;
obit CW 12/8/2008 (photo)
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Census of known Lesher Dollars, initially developed by Adna Wilde and further developed by Robert Leonard. This list includes 620 examples. A spreadsheet version of this document is available through the American Numismatic Society library.