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JACK LEE's Passing - A Rememberance from John Fegenbaum of DLRC

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I have not heard this talked about on the boards - This man was a Great man and a Great collector Of TOP SHELF MORGAN dollars. When he sold they sold real well in the market place - I could never afford any of his stuff ...




Monday, August 18, 2008

In Memory of Jack Lee...


I write tonight's blog with a very heavy heart. I was traveling out of the country over the weekend when I heard that my dear friend, Jack Lee, had passed away. Jack has been well known in numismatic circles these past two decades, primarily for the famous Silver dollar collections he assembled. Their quality was been unmatched because Jack had the rare combination of a critical eye, patience, and financial means to build the greatest Morgan dollar collection.


However, I didn't even know Jack when he build and sold those sets. I met him around 2000 when I started to share table space with him at the U.S. Coins (Kenny Duncan & co.) at Long Beach shows, where I would sit adjacent to Jack and his wife, Mary Catherine. The two of them (already in their 60's at the time) were tremendous fun and always teased me, show after show, for some reason or another. Jack was forever giving me grief if I showed up 5 minutes late for the show in the morning, bought an extra Coke, or didn't shave. I remember that he and Mary Catherine always brought their own coffee pot to the shows so a home-brew was never far from hand. Later, Jack and I did numerous deals together. Our biggest deal was a partnership on an 1870-S Seated dollar. He bought the coin in our Richmond Auction for $360,000 in 2005. I told him a few months later that I thought he had purchased the "rip of the auction." Jack simply replied (in his trademark Mississippi drawl), "If you really feel that way, you can half of it for $230,000." In other words, put your money where your mouth is... Well, I did. We marketed the coin for about 6 months and eventually sold it for $550,000 -- this was back in Feb. 2006. Since then the coin has realized near $1 Million. I knew that coin was a steal! Anyway, Jack was cool as a cucumber the entire time and a real gentleman. As a retired successful banker, a few extra zeros never made him nervous.


Jack and I went on to do many, many other deals together and he taught me many things about professionalism in the coin trade. Just two weeks ago we did well over $100,000 in business at the ANA show. I felt he was slowing down, but I truly didn't see this coming. It's quite a loss for me.


Jack, you are sorely missed by all who knew you. And you will always be remembered.


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