David Alexander Receives the Burnett Anderson Memorial Award
The Burnett Anderson Memorial Award for Excellence in Numismatic Writing is presented annually to a researcher, author or journalist in recognition of his or her career contributions to numismatics. First conferred posthumously in 1999 to its namesake—a newsman’s journalist—the award is sponsored by F & W Publications, and the winner is selected in a cooperative process by the American Numismatic Association, American Numismatic Society (ANS) and Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG).
The recipient of this year’s award is David Thomason Alexander, an accomplished writer, cataloger and numismatist currently employed by Stack’s in New York City. Born in Brooklyn, Alexander and his brother, John, began collecting coins in 1949 after the family moved to Florida. The boys joined the Miami Coin Club in 1953 and for many years were the only young numismatists in attendance at meetings. They became members of Florida United Numismatists in 1955, the year of the organization’s founding.
Alexander began his literary career in 1963, writing for publications of the Society for International Numismatics. He was a staff writer and editor for Coin World from 1974 to 1981, and as an outside contributor has penned the hobby weekly’s column “The Research Desk” since 1991. Alexander also is a contributing editor for the monthly COINage magazine.
A member of the Numismatic Literary Guild since 1975, Alexander served as its executive editor from 1982 to 1990. He received its highest honor, the Clemy award, in 1987 and has earned 20 NLG honors for his writing over the last 35 years.
Alexander celebrates his 28th year as an American Numismatic Society member and was named a fellow in 2008. He has prepared and presented in-depth papers at the ANS Coinage of the Americas Conference dealing with Revolutionary War and Early American topics, including “By-Ways of Washingtoniana” (1999), “The Myth of the Hessian ‘Blood Thaler’” (2003) and “The Comitia Americana Medal of Colonel John Stewart” (2005).
For the ANA’s monthly publication, The Numismatist, Alexander has written two cover stories—“Chinese Gold Ingot of Oregon and Peter Britt” (March 1987) and “Die Varieties of the Medals of Wartime Philippine President José P. Laurel” (May 1988). His July 2002 article, “Selling America’s Rarest Coin: The 1933 Double Eagle,” earned him the ANA’s Wayte and Olga Raymond Memorial Literary Award for distinguished achievement in the field of U.S. numismatics. Alexander also has been recognized with the ANA’s Glenn Smedley Memorial Award (1999) and Medal of Merit (2000).
In 1998 Alexander’s passion for medallic art led him to found Medal Collectors of America (MCA), the first broadly based U.S. organization for collectors of art and historical medals.
To further the MCA’s mission, he launched two publications, MCA Advisory and The Medal Cabinet.
Regarding his receipt of the 2010 Burnett Anderson Memorial Award, Alexander says, “I am both gratified and amazed. I knew Burnett reasonably well as a fellow reporter, although since he was employed by Krause Publications, we were in opposite trenches.”
Alexander notes that Anderson “brought to the craft a marvelous depth of knowledge of both the greater world and the world of numismatics—a rare combination in today’s hobby. I have received an award or two during my own writing career, but this honor will be especially treasured.”