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biog.gif (33040 bytes) The most significant advancements in the hobby of philately over the years have been made by individuals who have contributed their talents, studies and time to enhancing the knowledge base of the hobby. An enduring legacy has been left to us by Philately's Greats. We are pleased to offer biographies of some of these fine people here on our site. Watch this page for future additions to this important list.

 

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Theodore E. Steinway

These meetings of the Collectors Club of New York have always provided a fascinating education into the depths of philately—for the meeting programs are always presented by some of our hobby's most renowned experts. And these experts are usually also people who not only study their stamps, but give both their time and money to further our pastime.

Such an individual was Mr. Theodore Steinway, the world-famous owner of the piano manufacturing company that, to this day, bears his family name. Mr. Steinway was not only an officer of the CCNY and a recipient of its coveted Lichtenstein Medal for service to philately, he was an avid topical collector of Music On Stamps. And as with many topical collectors, he had a wide and deep knowledge of the stamps of almost all countries of the world. His chief contribution to our hobby, though, was his founding of the Steinway Publication Fund which, for decades, has financed the publishing of many important philatelic books.

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Raymond and Roger Weill

In the early 1930s stamp collecting was enjoying what many have called its "Golden Era". A stamp collector was in the White House and a former president of England's Royal Philatelic Society had ascended to that country's throne. And some of our hobby's major dealers were becoming legends.

But at that time, perhaps the greatest of America's legendary stamp firms was just starting out. Raymond and Roger Weill had just opened their shop at 407 Royal Street in New Orleans and word quickly spread that two serious devotees of philately would be ready to help the world's foremost philatelists pursue their hobby.

And so began a collaboration between two brothers who were to handle for their very astute clientele practically every great philatelic rarity—both United States and foreign—known to our pastime. From Hawaiian Missionaries to the greatest pieces from the pane of 100 of the 24-cent "Inverted Jenny", the Weills' power in the marketplace has been, for six decades, virtually without peer.

Though Roger passed away a few years back and the entire Weill Brothers stock was sold by Christie's almost a decade ago, Raymond Weill continues today at the top of his profession.

Collectors should also be grateful to the Weills for their dedicated promotion of philately over the years—and their vital support for our institutions. For even a 12-year old boy who visits the Weill shop has always found a warm and hearty welcome!

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Stephen G. Rich

Any philatelist who was active in the 1940s and 1950s and reading nearly any of the major stamp collecting publications couldn't help find the prolific writings by raconteur Stephen G. Rich. Without doubt, he was one of the most well known collectors of his day—active in so many fields within the hobby that it would be hard to count them.

Not only was he a very renowned philatelist, Steve Rich was also outspoken! If he disagreed with something or someone in the hobby, he was quick to point it out in his articles.

The son of another famous philatelist, Joseph S. Rich, he grew up in a philatelic atmosphere. He was especially active in the Society of Philatelic Americans, the Collectors Club of New York and the APS. As a publisher, Rich produced the Mitchell-Hoover Bureau Precancel Catalogue and Harry Konwiser's Stampless Cover Catalogue. He also edited the monthly Precancel Bee and Postal Markings journals.

The most amazing thing about Rich was the depth of knowledge he had on a diverse array of philatelic subjects. For instance, he is revered among South African collectors for his excellent book on Boer War philately—and respected also for his devotion to French and Polish philately. Over 50 years ago, Steve Rich was a regular fixture among the stamp shops of New York City.