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Bernard Rome, Entrepreneur and Numismatist – In Memoriam

Bernard Rome

By Julie Abrams, Consignment Director and Dealer Liaison, Stack’s Bowers Galleries ……

Bernard Rome, well known in the numismatic world as the founder of Teletrade and the Rome Report, passed away on Saturday, March 9, in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the age of 89. He is survived by his beloved family: his wife of 55 years, Timmie (née Blumstein); his son Narric, daughter Mallory, daughter-in-law Megan; and cherished grandchildren Ziv, Will, Natan, and Hadley.

Bernard’s journey began with a B.S. in business from the University of Vermont. An entrepreneurial spirit defined Bernard’s existence, igniting triumphs well beyond the world of numismatics. His business interests included groundbreaking technology that catalyzed the modern tracking of TV advertising, which he later sold to Time Warner.

He approached life with an unwavering dedication to innovation and progress, whether revolutionizing mundane tasks like grocery shopping, addressing the needs of financial markets, or improving the education system. His thirst for knowledge and knack for mastering diverse domains were ever-inspiring.

My encounter with Bernie occurred during my senior year at the University of Vermont when he graced us as a guest speaker in 1986. His talk, which focused on utilizing cutting-edge technology for rare coin trading through bid-and-ask systems and digitized voice boards, left an indelible mark on me.

Upon graduation, at the recommendation of our mutual professor, Bernie hired me to help him get his ideas off the ground. Together, we embarked on a pioneering venture, birthing the first computerized auction company, Teletrade. From its nascent bid/ask system to the innovative auction model employing VHS ‘catalogs’ and later transitioning to computer “dummy” terminals for bidders, Bernard fearlessly navigated the realms of creativity and adaptation. Our collaboration was a joyous odyssey, culminating in auctions commencing and concluding within a single day, thrice weekly, featuring over a thousand lots in each auction.

In Bernie, I found a mentor and a cherished friend. His absence leaves a void that words cannot fill.

–Julie Abrams

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