In parts 1 and 2 of this story, I spoke of Amon G. Carter, Sr., and his son Amon, Jr. This family shows how a father and son can enjoy numismatics together and build warm feelings within the family.
When Amon G. Carter, Jr. returned from the war he went to work with Carter Publications in 1946, and was named director and treasurer. The company owned the Fort Worth Star Telegram, as well as radio and later television stations.
By 1948 Amon Jr. was advertising director of the Star Telegram. He assumed leadership of the Star Telegram and presidency of the Amon G. Carter Foundation, upon the death of his father in 1955. The Foundation’s mission was to help people who did not have the opportunity that Amon Sr. had. The foundation was dedicated to the idea that, “The more money the Foundation raised meant that more could be given away.”
I first met Amon G. Carter, Jr. in the early 1950s during one of his many trips to New York. He always stopped in to visit the Stack family and to discuss numismatics. He became well informed about coins, but also started to develop a huge collection of currency, an interest he developed during World War II and continued after he returned home. He often found time to sit down in our shop, sort coins and currency, and just help out. He often found things of interest and acquired them.
Amon, Jr., was a warm and friendly individual who had “inherited” his father’s great interest in numismatics. He acquired outstanding collections of United States currency, including federal issues, and obsolete currency of pre-federal issues, colonial notes, and world currency (no doubt fostered by his wartime overseas acquisitions).
He rarely bought a single note, but would acquire a collection that became available. H would buy duplicates to have for trade or as gifts to fellow collectors, and even with his great business responsibilities he made room to be an active collector. In order to expand his collection and get to know more collectors, Amon Jr. became a collector-dealer, and took tables at various numismatic shows, including the annual conventions held by the American Numismatic Association.
Amon, Jr. often tried to have a bourse table next to or near the Stack’s table at shows. He would man the table most of the time, but when he had to leave for any reason, he would give his keys to me and we would watch his table while he was gone. He had such trust in those who attended the shows that he often had stacks and bundles of bills on top of his cases, for ease of viewing for those who came by to visit. His only desire was to learn more, meet more collectors and have fun at the shows while building his mammoth collection of currency.
I remember him so well — a young looking man, somewhat bald, always with a smile and a greeting for those who knew him or got to meet him. He loved chewing on as well as smoking small cigars, and he seemed always having one in his mouth. He did not try to impress anyone with his wealth, but those who got to know him, like myself, were always treated as friends.
Because he was an avid numismatist, Amon was appointed to the U.S. Assay Commission in 1960, an honor he cherished. During his lifetime he was a Director of American Airlines, (and served as a major influence in getting the Amon G. Carter Field in the Dallas Fort Worth area to become an International Airport, known as DFW). He worked tirelessly for civic projects in his home part of Texas, led charitable drives for the benefit of its citizens, and helped develop and make nationally know the Famous Art Collections in Fort Worth. He also had a minority ownership in the Texas Rangers baseball team. Along with all this, he found time to enhance the coin collection his father had started, and the paper money collection he himself developed. He was devotion to all he became involved with and it was an honor for me to be considered among his friends.
Amon G. Carter, Jr. died of a heart failure in 1982 at the age of 62. He was driving his car from Fort Worth to catch a plane and stopped along the highway apparently not feeling well. A short time later a State Trooper who knew his car, saw it stopped on the shoulder of the road, and came by to assist him, but unfortunately it was too late.
I was very proud to know that Amon G, Carter, Jr., thought enough of the Stack family that he noted in his will that we should be the company to sell the important numismatic collections that he and his father created.
The Public Auction Sale of the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Family Collection, cataloged and sold by Stack’s, took place in New York City, on January 18- 21, 1984. It was a landmark sale!
Coming up, I will outline the extent of the collection and list some of the great rarities and finest knowns that it contained.