Mel Wacks medal with obverse designed by Eugene Daub, and reverse by Mel Wacks. Struck by the Highland Mint
in quantities of 95 bronze, 57 pure silver, and 18 gold-plated silver. Medal commemorates Wacks’ 70th birthday and the
40th anniversary of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame. Obverse: Portrait, MEL WACKS SEVENTY YEARS 2008 5768,
EUGENE DAUB. Reverse: THE JEWISH –AMERICAN HALL OF FAME. 49 x 47 mm.
Jewish-American Hall of Fame founder, Mel Wacks, was born in the Bronx on July 10, 1938. He began collecting at the age of 10, after his father gave him a pouch of old coins. Mel earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering at CCNY and NYU, respectively, and went on to work in several engineering companies — but found his true calling in the world of numismatics.
Mel’s articles have appeared in The Numismatist, Coin World, Numismatic News, World Coin News, The Medal, The Shekel, etc. He has authored two books ― Handbook of Biblical Numismatics and Medals of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame 1969-2019 ― which are available on www.amazon.com and on the website of the Newman Numismatic Portal (https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/books).
Mel Wacks founded the Jewish-American Hall of Fame at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in 1969, to honor the unique contributions made by Jewish Americans to all phases of the American way of life. As Director, he has coordinated the design, production and marketing of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame medals, designed its website, and even created designs for some of the medals ― honoring Elie Wiesel, Houdini, the 40th Anniversary of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, etc.
Mel Wacks’ other activities in the world of numismatics include: one of the founders and President (2002-2020) of the American Israel Numismatic Association; editor of The Shekel (2017-2020); Life Fellow of the American Numismatic Society; member of the American Numismatic Association for over 50 years; also member of the Board of Directors of the Numismatic Literary Guild and the American Medallic Sculptors Association. In addition, Mel is on the Advisory Council of American Jewish Heritage Month.