As we approach this year’s American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, to be held in Chicago in August, I share these thoughts from Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker, who in 2013 gave the opening remarks at a memorial to Richard Doty, held at the same venue. Those of us who remember Dick Doty miss him dearly. The annual ANA show is a time to enjoy current friendships and make new ones, and also to keep memories alive.
We’re gathered today to remember Dr. Richard G. Doty. We know Dick most recently as senior curator of numismatics at the Smithsonian Institution . . . before that, as curator of modern coins and currency at the American Numismatic Society. He started his professional career as a teacher—a professor of history at several colleges and universities—and, really, he never abandoned that calling. He was the consummate teacher. These are some of the ways people have described Dick Doty:
- “A gentleman.”
- ”A Renaissance personality.”
- ”An interpreter of coins.”
- “A great populizer of the discipline.”
- ”A lovely fellow, an expert scholar, and a good friend.”
All of us have special memories of Dick Doty. I had the honor of being his publisher and working with him on various projects. I will always remember his generosity, as a researcher and a holder of deep knowledge. He was always ready to share information, to help you make connections, to open up access. He was enthusiastic. He loved to learn, and to share what he learned. He had a great sense of humor, even when he was frustrated or juggling deadlines. One of my favorite memories of Dick is, I admit, a selfish one: His latest book, Pictures From a Distant Country, had recently debuted, and it was starting to make headlines in the national media. Dick sent me a note that said, “Thanks, I knew I could count on you.” Dick Doty counting on me? How many times have I counted on him, have all of us counted on him—to know the answer, to help us see, to open our minds? Dick Doty was brilliant, his work was larger than life, but he was so down to earth. He benefited us all, and we’re all grateful.
As we get ready for the 2019 ANA convention, let’s remember those who have inspired us and helped us on our numismatic journeys!