Born in Chicago. His family moved to Florida when he was 11. He received a B.A. from The Citadel in 1955. He also attended Stetson College of Law in St. Petersburg. Married Nellie F. Hills "Dolly" June 18, 1955. They had a son, Grover Criswell III.
He served as a lieutenant in the Air Force 1955 to 1957. He received the honorary title "Colonel" from several organizations. He is a member of the Masons, Elks and Moose lodges.
Criswell served on the city council 1957 to 1960 and as mayor of St. Petersburg Beach, Florida 1960 through 1962. In 1962 he ran for Congress in Florida on the Democratic Party ticket.
He started collecting coins at the age of eight and began dealing by mail at the age of 12. His father gave him some Confederate currency at the age of 11 and he began to buy whatever he could find. He is a dealer specializing in Confederate paper. At one time he had $20 million in face value. He became known as "the richest man in the world of Confederate money."
His specialty in Confederate currency resulted in appearances on the TV shows "To Tell The Truth," "What's My Line?" and the "Today Show."
He served on the United States Civil War Centennial Advisory Council 1961 to 1965. In 1963 he opened a money museum. The next year $300,000 worth of material was stolen. He closed the museum in 1965 and moved to Citra, now Fort McCoy, Florida. In 1965 he received the Nathan Gold Memorial Award.
He was a life member of about 20 numismatic and historic organizations and member of another 40. He was one of the founders of the Florida United Numismatists and served as president. He was a member of the Rittenhouse Society.
He was life member number 268 of the ANA. He served on the board of governors 1965 to 1975, as vice president 1975 to 1977, as 40th ANA President 1977 to 1979 and again on the board of governors 1979 to 1983. A one ounce private silver bar was issued by the Carolina Mint on the occasion of Criswell becoming ANA President. There were 300 copies struck. In 1991 he was again elected to the ANA board. He received the Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in 1991 and 1993 and the Medal of Merit in 1993 and 1994.
He started the Bank Note Reporter in January 1973 and was its publisher. He is the author of Confederate and Southern States Currency in 1957.
Later editions have been issued. Author of Confederate and Southern States Bonds in 1961. Author with Herb Romerstein of Confederate Money and Civil War Tokens. Author of North American Currency in 1965. Author of The Official Guide to Confederate Money & Civil War Tokens, Tradesmen and Patriotic in 1971. Author of Colonel Grover Criswell's Guide to Confederate Money published in 1992.
The Criswell reference collection of Confederate and obsolete notes was given to a South Carolina church group. It was sold at auction by NASCA in 1982.
bio: BNR June 1980; correspondence, 1991
profile: NN/WWH 1/19/80 obit: NUM 5/99
3 entries foundDisplaying records 1 — 3
Criswell's Currency Series, Vol. 2 by Grover C. Criswell, Jr. and Clarence L. Criswell. This is an in-copyright publication. "Snippet" results will appear in the Newman Portal search results.
Includes Confederate paper money and tokens.
Note, this is an in-copyright publication and not available for full view on NNP. "Snippets" will appear in search results.
Comprehensive Catalog of Confederate Paper Money by Grover C. Criswell. This is an in-copyright publication. "Snippet" results will appear in the Newman Portal search results.