WASHINGTON -- Richard Doty, a scholar of money who helped humanize coins and currency by showing how the objects might reflect the culture, values and history of a society, died June 2 in Falls Church, Va. He was 71.
The cause was complications from lymphoma, said his wife, Cindi Roden.
At the time of his death, Doty was the senior numismatic curator at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
"He was really a historian, more than a numismatic," said Ute Wartenberg Kagan, executive director of the American Numismatic Society. "He interpreted the coins, and that made him very special."
William Metcalf, curator of coins and medals at the Yale University Art Gallery, called Doty "a great popularizer of the discipline" through his nine books and several hundred scholarly articles.
Doty was considered one of the top numismatists in the world because he was both a specialist in the field of minting and printing technologies and a general expert on all things coin- and currency-related, particularly the objects' places in history.
Doty's interest in coins began at 8 when he got hold of Japanese and Chinese coins brought back from World War II. His collection grew from there.
Doty's books included "Coins of the World" and "Paper Money of the World," which Russ Mackendrick, writing in The New York Times 1978, called "about the best value in numismatic literature that we have seen for some time."
-- The Washington Post