Large cent expert Walter Husak dies at age 80

December 28, 2022 1 min read

Large cent expert Walter Husak dies at age 80

By Paul Gilkes , Coin World, Published: Dec 28, 2022, 8 AM

Renowned U.S. copper coin collector Walter J. Husak — who founded the HK Aerospace manufacturing company in Burbank, California, in 2007 — died Dec. 15 at age 80 at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, from heart-related complications.

A long-time member of Early American Coppers, Mr. Husak assembled a set of 301 United States large cents by Sheldon variety as attributed in Dr. William H. Sheldon’s reference, Penny Whimsy.

Heritage Auctions sold that collection during a public sale on Feb. 15, 2008, in Long Beach, California, where the collection realized $10.7 million, which included the then 15% buyer’s fees.

The top two coins in the sale — a 1793 Liberty Cap cent certified About Uncirculated 55 by Professional Coin Grading Service, and the PCGS AU-50 1794 Liberty Cap, Starred Reverse cent — individually realized $632,500 each.

The disposition of the copper cent collection in 2008 did not end Mr. Husak’s nearly seven-decade collecting adventure. He later chose to pursue a premier selection of U.S. large cents dated 1793 through 1814, totaling 87 coins.

Mr. Husak began collecting Lincoln cents and Indian Head 5-cent coins at age 12. His collecting pursuits were further encouraged at age 13 through a visit to his grandparents in Iowa during which he was paid in vintage U.S. coins for doing chores. In 2009, Husak established the Liberty Cap Foundation to further numismatic research and education.

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