Mike Kodysz passed along this information about collector and ANA exhibitor Sammy Lee Whipple, Sr.
I thought readers might be interested to know that Sammy L. Whipple, Sr. died in January of this year. Mr. Whipple won the Howland Wood Award in 1979 for his exhibit titled The Gold Coinage of King George III. To the best of my knowledge, he was the first person of African-American heritage to win the award.
The Numismatist (October 1979) showed a photo of him accepting the award.
I've been working on a list of Howland Wood winners for my own informational and research purposes as an exhibitor. It's available on a site called EverybodyWiki, which uses the same code as Wikipedia. Here's the link:
The reason I found out that Mr. Whipple died is because I conducted a Google search for his name to see if he might have! Up until this year, he was the earliest Howland Wood winner still alive. Based on the information I've found, this now makes Denis W. Loring the earliest winner still alive. He won the award in 1982. What I mean by "earliest" is that all individuals who've won the Howland Wood Memorial Award before 1982 are now deceased, as well as all who've won "Best in the Show," which preceded the Howland Wood.
Anyway, there's been no listing yet of Mr. Whipple in the monthly "Memorials" section of The Numismatist, but I'm not sure that he maintained his membership. I think the ANA only lists current members who are deceased. The last mention of Mr. Whipple in The Numismatist was March 1982.
Thank you! Here's an excerpt from Whipple's online obituary.
Sammy Lee Whipple Sr., 77, husband of Jane Whipple, of Mt. Vernon, Indiana passed away on January 27th, 2023 at his home in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. Born January 6, 1946, in Dublin Georgia, he was the son of the late Parker Whipple and Smithy Bell Jackson-Whipple.
Mr. Whipple graduated from Oconee High School and Tuskegee University. He began his work in the pharmaceutical industry in Detroit, Michigan. His career spanned 32 years and he worked for a variety of companies, but spent the bulk of his career working for Mead-Johnson/Bristol Myers Squibb. He ended his career as Director of International Contract Manufacturing, negotiating contracts for raw materials that he took great pride in. He spent over 5 years as an executive on loan for the United Way of Southwestern Indiana.
His hobbies were varied. He remained interested in all aspects of numismatics (coin acquisition and collecting) throughout his life. He also was interested in all facets of the game of golf, including equipment, watching both professional and amateur golf, attending and volunteering at tournaments, as well as playing golf himself. In the latter part of his life, he increasingly became a researcher and historian of World War 2, collecting many items from that era.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Griffin and Willie Lee Whipple.
"Do any readers have memories of him to share? From the obituary it seems that he might have been active in numismatics at the local level until recently."
To read the complete article, see:
Sammy Lee Whipple, Sr.
January 6, 1946 - January 27, 2023
Wayne Homren, Editor
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