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Harry “Parkyakarkus” Einstein – Famous American Coin Collectors

Harry Einstein relaxes in 1938. Image colorized by CoinWeek.
Harry Einstein relaxes in 1938. Image colorized by CoinWeek.

Born May 6, 1904 in Boston, Massachusetts. Died November 23, 1958 in Hollywood, California. ANA #7174. ANS member from 1945-1949.

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Harry Einstein (also known as Harry Parke) was a comedian and radio personality, best known for his character “Parkyakarkus”, who made recurring appearances on the Eddie Cantor Show.

Einstein was also the father of actors Albert Brooks and Bob Einstein.

Einstein was a friend of Abe Kosoff and a notable coin collector in his own right, having dibs on much of Kosoff’s best material.

Harry Einstein Collection Catalog.
Harry Einstein Collection Catalog.

In 1945, Einstein placed advertisements in The Numismatist under his Parkyakarkus moniker, seeking gold coins for his personal collection.

He died of a heart attack on November 24, 1958, after giving a monologue at the Friars dinner for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

On June 23-25, 1986, Bowers and Merena auctioned Einstein’s collection and other properties. Among Einstein’s holdings were nearly complete sets of gold dollars, three dollar gold coins, and a $4 Stella – as well as several key date eagles and half eagles.

The sale is also notable as the Garrett 1804 dollar headlined the proceedings.

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Sources

Hill, David. “Parkyakarkus: The Story of a Coin Collector”, ANS Pocket Change Blog. Published April 2023.

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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