Who was Walter Breen?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by cplradar, Oct 15, 2021.

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  1. cplradar

    cplradar Talmud Chuchum

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  3. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 U.S Casual Collector / Error Collector

    Good thing I don't have his books . ;)
    OldSilverDollar and baseball21 like this.
  4. CamaroDMD

    CamaroDMD [Insert Clever Title]

    This all happened before my time in the hobby and I had not idea that Breen was a serial predator. Happy to hear he died in a cage.
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  5. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Aren't worth the paper they're printed on with all the false things in them. Plenty of other places to get better information from someone that wasn't a convicted child molester.
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  6. OldSilverDollar

    OldSilverDollar Unknown Member

    What next a thread about coin collectors clubbing baby seals?
    micbraun likes this.
  7. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect since I was a baby Supporter

    Unfortunately, history is full of people who made notable contributions to something but also had a despicable dark side; we can't ignore either side. Too bad his dark side wasn't exposed before he ruined the lives of his victims.
    UncleScroge, tibor, ddddd and 2 others like this.
  8. cplradar

    cplradar Talmud Chuchum

    You're say that the books are not well researched? It seems like people still refer to coins by their Breen numbers.
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  9. cplradar

    cplradar Talmud Chuchum

  10. cplradar

    cplradar Talmud Chuchum

  11. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect since I was a baby Supporter

    That doesn't mean that there aren't errors in his books. I believe some of these errors have been mentioned in older threads. I'm not into the types of varieties that he researched and documented.
  12. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    "Walter Breen was married to celebrated science-fiction writer Marion Zimmer Bradley. They have two children, Patrick and Moira, both musicians. Walter Breen passed away on April 28, 1993, from cancer."
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  13. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter


    "In addition to his employment with First Coinvestors, Inc., where he was an officer for many years, Breen was an active member of the science fiction fan community for much of his life. He wrote for fanzines, and took over editorship of the fanzine Fanac from Terry Carr and Ron Ellik."

    I bought coins from First Coinvestors while I was in graduate school. First time I have ever seen them mentioned.
    wxcoin likes this.
  14. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    There are most definitely errors in his books. But I got news for ya - there are errors, mistakes, bad information in most books, regardless of who wrote them.

    But that doesn't mean the books are bad or that everything in them is bad information. The vast majority of the info in Breen's books, and everybody else's books, is good information, accurate information.
  15. OldSilverDollar

    OldSilverDollar Unknown Member

    I think I'm starting to understand you better.
  16. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    No question, Breen did some bad things and harmed others. He earned the hate he receives.

    At the same time he did some great work for the hobby. It's well known that he would give his opinion as if it was fact. His ENCYCLOPEDIA OF U.S. AND COLONIAL COINS was a great work and still is, with over 4000 images and 754 pages.

    Most of the mistakes I have found in the book had to do with how rare a coin was. He would call something very rare but years later it was shown to be wrong. I still see the book as a valuable book in my library.
    johnmilton, Kasia, longshot and 2 others like this.
  17. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    This image came out in one of his books.
    Kasia, lordmarcovan and wxcoin like this.
  18. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

  19. tibor

    tibor Supporter! Supporter

    Most books written in the last 50 years use research that Breen did years earlier. In the 50s he was a constant figure in the mint archives. There were some mistakes/errors in his publications. Unlike the nay sayers of his inaccuracies, Breen didn't have the luxury of the internet or Newman Numismatic Portal. Yes, Breen did unspeakable and horrendous acts in his personal life. He also did ground breaking research in numismatics that makes our hobby more enjoyable. I met him at the 80, 81 and 87 ANA long before his crimes were brought to light. My only complaint was his lack of personal hygiene.
    Jedinited, johnmilton, Kasia and 4 others like this.
  20. tibor

    tibor Supporter! Supporter

    @jeffB there is no Santa in numismatics.
  21. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Tell your dog I said hi!

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