I started collecting coins in Boy Scouts while earning a merit badge in coins. During the late 1970s and most of the 1980s, school consumed most of my spare time. I spent 6 years in the Naval Reserves as an Aviation Electronic Technician. I was also heavily involved in the American Red Cross teaching swimming, lifesaving, CPR, first aid, sailing, canoeing, and adapted aquatics. I became an instructor in each of these, with more than 2,500 hours of volunteer service and was also a swim coach at many different levels.
I received my undergraduate degree at Temple University in Computer Science and my Masters of Engineering in Computers at Penn State. I have been working as a Computer Programmer for the past 24 years. In 1989, I got the coin bug again and first concentrated on the Two Cent series. The more I studied the history of this series, the more I found that far too many questions were unanswered. To answer these and learn more about the history of the Mint, I started going to the National Archives in Philadelphia. There I spent one Saturday a month reading Mint documents from the hands of those who made the history.
To date I have now written 30 books on coins. I have written coin books for many different reasons. Some books, such as the Misplaced Date, I wrote because of my insatiable curiosity on trying to understand how MPDs were created. Others, such as the book on Lincoln cents, were written because of all the great stories and hot topics surrounding the series. Books such as the Eisenhower Dollar were written because of the belief that this series was under appreciated by many, including myself, and by writing a book on this series, I learned to understand and enjoy them. My greatest enjoyment in writing books is the historical perspective. Living near the national archives in Philadelphia has helped me to unravel many mysteries surrounding many of the different series. My second passion is die varieties. I love to collect coins and and as I come to understand how die varieties were created at the Mint my passion for finding them has increased.
There are several categories of books that I am currently writing. The “Authoritative Reference” provides a complete reference on a series. The primary goal is to present the facts regarding the history of the design, creation, minting, or any other significant information regarding the series. This includes questioning all currently accepted published information. The primary goal is also to explore all stories involving the series such as the 1943 copper cents in the Lincoln cent series. A date-by-date analysis is also presented for collectors who wish to learn about scarcity, striking characteristics, and other important information. For the die variety enthusiast, the goal of these books is to show as many die varieties as possible. In addition, All overdates, over mintmarks, or other types of major varieties will be attempted to be proved or disproved.
The “Treasure Hunting” series involves books in which the goal is to present as many varieties as possible in that series. These types of books are made to help collectors identify die varieties in a series.
My two favorite books are The 1894-S Dime, A Mystery Unraveled, and The Lincoln Cent Matte Proof book. This book is my legacy. It is based upon archive research and one of my favorite subjects, history. In my second favorite, the Lincoln Cent Matte Proof book, I found it extremely exciting learning so much about this short series and then being able to share this information with collectors.
I hope that these books I have written inspire, thrill and fulfill your appetite for answers. I hope also that they help to inspire new generations of collectors as well as help existing collectors to further enjoy their chosen hobby. Happy hunting!
Note: Kevin Flynn has now authored no less than 50 books on coin collecting and numismatics.