David Hendin

David Hendin
Born (1945-12-16) December 16, 1945 (age 75)
Education Horton Watkins (Ladue) High School (1963)
University of Missouri, Columbia (1967)
Missouri School of Journalism (1971)
Occupation Ancient coin expert, journalist, publishing executive, author
Spouse(s) Jeannie Luciano (m. 1985)
Children Sarah (b. 1972), Ben (b. 1975), Alexander (b. 1990)

David Bruce Hendin (born December 16, 1945) is an expert American numismatist specializing in ancient Jewish and Biblical coins and their archaeology.[1] Throughout his career, Hendin has also been known as a medical journalist, newspaper columnist, publishing executive, literary agent, and author. Some of Hendin's books include the groundbreaking bestseller Death as a Fact of Life as well as the extensive reference Guide to Biblical Coins.

Early life and education

David Bruce Hendin was born the son of Dr. Aaron and Celeste Sherman Hendin (died 1948) and Lillian Karsh Hendin (married 1949). Hendin spent his early years in St. Louis. After graduating from Ladue Horton Watkins High School in 1963, Hendin went on to attend the University of Missouri – Colombia where he received his Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1967.[2] In 1971, Hendin received his MA Degree from Missouri's School of Journalism. In 2002, Hendin was recognized as one of Ladue's thirty-seven distinguished alumni from the school's 50-year history.

Jewish-Biblical Numismatic (coins) Expertise

Hendin's interest in ancient Jewish and Biblical coins began in 1967 during a year-long stint as a biology teacher at an agricultural high school near the Israeli town of Ashkelon. During this time, Hendin learned to speak Hebrew and became fascinated with the study of ancient Jewish and Biblical coins. Aaron Hendin, David's father, had been a long-time collector and student of ancient Jewish coins when he was not working as a physician in St. Louis. David had never shown an interest in his father's hobby, but after his year in Israel, he was hooked on the subject.

The younger Hendin went on to be mentored for decades by international experts in the field. These experts included the well-known Ya’akov Meshorer, professor of Archaeology and Numismatics at Hebrew University and Chief Curator of the Israel Museum, where he founded the numismatic department. Hendin edited and published Meshorer's Ancient Jewish Coinage Vols. I & 2 as well as the English edition of Meshorer's A Treasury of Jewish Coins[3]. Upon Meshorer's death in 2002, Hendin helped establish the Meshorer Prize in Numismatics given by the Israel Museum. He now sits on the board that awards this prize. Also among Hendin's mentors was Dan Barag, professor of Archaeology and Numismatics at Hebrew University and Shraga Qedar, another well-known numismatic scholar.

In 1985 and 1986, Hendin returned to Israel as the chief numismatist of the Joint Sepphoris Project excavations under the auspices of Duke University (Eric and Carol Meyers) and Hebrew University (Ehud Netzer). He again excavated in 2011 with the Duke team. Hendin is a well-known authority on Biblical and ancient Jewish coins. He has published more than 50 articles in this field and has been invited to speak at symposia in Italy, Great Britain, Israel, and the United States. His books and articles about ancient Middle Eastern coins and pre-coinage currency and weights span his 50-year study of the subjects. In 1992, Hendin was elected a Fellow of the American Numismatic Society and is now a Life Fellow. He has donated many significant numismatic and archaeological objects to the Israel Museum, Jerusalem and thus was honored in 2001 as a Sponsor of the Israel Museum. He is also a trustee and adjunct curator at the American Numismatic Society.[4]

Journalism career

From 1970 to 1993, David Hendin had a successful career with Scripps Howard's United Feature Syndicate (UFS) and Newspaper Enterprise Association. During his years as a journalist with Scripps Howard, Hendin wrote as a medical journalist. His first column, Man and his World, was the first syndicated newspaper column on ecology and ran from 1970 until 1973. Following this, Hendin wrote another syndicated newspaper column, The Medical Consumer, which was published in newspapers nationwide for six years (1973-1979). In 1973, Hendin's book Death as a Fact of Life was serialized in the New York Post and other newspapers nationwide. This and Hendin's other books have been translated into Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Portuguese and Spanish.

Overall, Hendin wrote more than 1,000 articles for newspapers and magazines, including Saturday Review, Reader’s Digest, and Science News. His writing has been hailed as “brilliant and highly sensitive,”[5] by The New York Times and The Washington Post praised Hendin's writing as “journalism of the highest order.”[6] Hendin became the Senior Vice President and Editorial Director for United Feature Syndicate in 1980. In that position, Hendin was responsible for signing many exceptional columnists and cartoonists, including the following:

Hendin also worked with Pulitzer Prize winning muckraker Jack Anderson and many cartoonists, including Charles M. Schulz (Peanuts), Jim Davis (Garfield), Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey, Gamin & Patches), Mike Peters, and artist Peter Max. Under Hendin's tenure, UFS launched The Supermarket Shopper by Martin Sloan, the first newspaper column that led to America's 1980's coupon-clipping craze. In 1992, he was a featured speaker at Ohio State University's Festival of Cartoon Art. From 1971 until 1986, in addition to his work with the UFS, Hendin taught as an Adjunct Professor of Journalism and established a New York Science Journalism program at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In 1975 and 1976, Hendin lectured as an adjunct professor on science and medical journalism at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Hendin has served on the boards of trustees of the Scripps Howard Foundation, American Friends of the Bible Lands Museum/Jerusalem, the Kinsey Institute for Sex, Gender and Reproduction, The Newspaper Comics Council, the Holy Land Conservation Fund, and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. In 1993, Hendin left UFS and became a consultant and literary agent. Prior to his retirement, he counted many talented creators as his clients, including the following:

Hendin was also co-executive producer of the 1993 PBS Special Miss Manners and Company.

Personal life

Hendin has been married since 1985 to Jeannie (Luciano), retired vice-chair and director of trade publishing at W.W. Norton & Co. Publishers. He has three children; Sarah, born 1972, Ben, born 1975 and Alexander, born 1990.


  • 2007: Ancient Scale Weights and Pre-Coinage Currency of the Near East, Amphora Books, NY. ISBN 978-0-9654029-4-1.
  • 2005: Not Kosher: Forgeries of Ancient Jewish and Biblical Coins, *Amphora Books, NY. ISBN 0-9654029-3-2.
  • 1978: The Genetic Connection (with Joan Marks), William Morrow, NY, 1978. (Translations: Hebrew, Portuguese). ISBN 0-688-03265-6.
  • 1978: Collecting Coins, Signet Books, NY. ISBN 0-451-08405-5.
  • 1977: The Life Givers, William Morrow, NY, 1977. (1977 Book of the Year, American Medical Writer's Association). ISBN 0-688-03035-1
  • 1977: The World Almanac Whole Health Guide, Signet/NAL, NY. Lib. Congress 76-48583.
  • 1976: Guide to Ancient Jewish Coins, Attic Books, NY. ISBN 0-915018-11-X.
    • 1987: Guide to Biblical Coins, 2nd Edition Revised and Expanded, Amphora Books, NY. ISBN 0-88687-328-2.
    • 1996: Guide to Biblical Coins, 3rd Edition Revised and Expanded, Amphora Books, NY. ISBN 0-9654029-0-8.
    • 2001: Guide to Biblical Coins, 4th Edition Revised and Expanded, Amphora Books, NY. ISBN 0-9654029-2-4.
    • 2010: Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition, Amphora Books, NY. ISBN 978-0-9654029-5-8.
  • 1972: Save Your Child’s Life, Enterprise Books, NY, 1972; Doubleday-Dolphin, NY,
    • 1974, Save Your Child’s Life, Revised: Pharos Books, NY, 1986. (Translations: Spanish, Portuguese). ISBN 978-0-88687-291-5.
  • 1973: Death as a Fact of Life, W.W. Norton, NY, 1973; Warner Books, NY, 1974; W.W. Norton, NY, 1984. (Translations: Japanese, Chinese, Russian). ISBN 0-393-30134-6.
  • 1971: The Doctor’s Save Your Heart Diet (recipes by Aileen Claire), Award Books (Grosset & Dunlap), NY. ASIN: B001II11MY
  • 1971: Everything You Need to Know About Abortion, Pinnacle Books, NY. ASIN: B0006W2GPE


  • 2013: Gunnar Holst Numismatic Foundation Medal, Swedish Numismatic Society, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • 2013: Best Museum Exhibit Catalog of Year. Coins of the Holy Land, the Abraham and Marian Sofaer Collection at the American Numismatic Society and The Israel Museum (American Numismatic Society), Numismatic Literary Guild.
  • 2012: Best Auction Catalog of Year. The Shoshana Collection of Ancient Judean Coins I (Heritage), Numismatic Literary Guild.
  • 2012: Best Museum Exhibit Catalog of Year. Cultural Change, Jewish, Christian,and Islamic Coins of the Holy Land (American Numismatic Society), Numismatic Literary Guild.
  • 2011: Sundman Lecture, American Numismatic Association
  • 2003: Presidential Award, American Numismatic Association.[7]
  • 2002: Distinguished Alumnus, Horton Watkins (Ladue) High School, St. Louis, Mo.
  • 2000 & 1993: Best Magazine Column Award, Numismatic Literary Guild.
  • 1996: Ben Odesser Judaic Literary Award, American Israel Numismatic Association.[7]
  • 1992: Life Fellow, American Numismatic Society.
  • 1976: Book of the Year (The Life Givers), American Medical Writer's Association.
  • 1974: Who’s Who in America (1974-), Who’s Who in the World (1995-).
  • 1974: Claude Bernard Science Journalism Award (Honorable Mention), National Society for Medical Research.
  • 1973: Howard Blakeslee Award, American Heart Association.
  • 1972: Medical Journalism Award, American Medical Association.


  1. ^ "Ancient Coin Collectors Guild". www.accg.us. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  2. ^ Ladue Horton Watkins High School website, "Distinguished Alumni". Accessed 08 February 2018.
  3. ^ Meshorer, Y. Coins Reveal, Jewish Museum, NY (1983)
  4. ^ "David Hendin". numismatics.org. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  5. ^ Broyard, A (January 25, 1973). "The Obstetrics of the Soul". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Edelson, E (January 21, 1973). "The Art of Dying". The Washington Post Book World.
  7. ^ a b Who's Who in America (1974) ff.

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