03/13/2014 (P1740)
Contact: Ken Martin

APS Hall of Fame Inductees for 2014

The American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame (www.stamps.org/Hall-of-Fame) was established at the 1940 APS Convention by President Rollin W. Flower. The award recognizes collectors posthumously for a lifetime of outstanding service in philately. The first class of honorees in 1941 included philatelic luminaries Sir Rowland Hill, John Nicholas Luff, John Walter Scott, Thomas Keay Tapling, John Kerr Tiffany, James Ludovic Lindsay (26th Earl of Crawford), Philip Mathias Wolfsieffer, Charles Easterly Severen, Frederick John Melville, Charles Lathrop Pack, Charles James Phillips, Edward Spring Knapp, Beverly Sedwick King, Hugh McLellan Southgate, and Ralph Andrews Barry.

This year’s honorees are Earl Panero Lopez Apfelbaum, Richard B. Graham, and David Lee Straight.

Earl Panero Lopez Apfelbaum (1905–1985)
Earl Apfelbaum, together with his father Maurice, established a part-time business to meet the needs of stamp collectors and turned it into an international firm that continues to this day. Earl and his father decided to convert their sideline into a full-time enterprise in 1930 and opened their shop in Philadelphia. Earl often made road trips to sell his stock to collectors in other towns and cities up and down the east coast while his father tended to the main shop.

Despite the Depression the fledgling business survived, and even the economic climate caused by World War II did not prevent the business from growing. Later the firm began mail sales and public auctions before these marketing methods were adopted by many of their competitors. In the 1950s Earl’s son Martin joined the firm and revamped the retail business with a self-service stamp shop that attracted hundreds of collectors every week. Both the retail and public auction operations brought international recognition and, by 1969, the company had a staff of more than twenty people.

Despite the hectic day-to-day operations of a major business, Earl found time to write and take part in organized philately. In the 1960s he began a popular column in Linn’s Weekly Stamp News known as “Apfelbaum’s Corner” that continued for two decades. A number of the columns were collected and published in book form in 1983. He was a founding member of the American Philatelic Congress and eventually contributed seven papers to the Congress books. He served the American Philatelic Society as secretary and vice president, and was president of the American Academy of Philately.

Earl’s engaging style as revealed in his columns was reinforced by his outstanding speaking abilities. He was in great demand by clubs, societies, and other philatelic events to be guest speaker where he seldom used notes, drawing instead on his knowledge, experience, and endless anecdotes. He also recognized that most collectors used printed albums but were shunned by exhibitions where the awards went to those who prepared their own display pages. He then announced that his firm now offered the Maurice Apfelbaum award for the best exhibit on printed pages. Hundreds of these medals were used at regional and national shows around the country.

Earl helped organize the National Philatelic Museum in Philadelphia, which flourished for many years, and later was merged into the Cardinal Spellman Museum. He received the SEPAD national merit award in 1963 and the APS John N. Luff award for exceptional contributions to philately in 1962. The Apfelbaum dynasty continues to this day as Earl’s grandchildren operate the legendary firm.

Richard B. Graham (1922–2012)
Richard Graham was a highly regarded postal history expert, researcher, and author. He brought attention to the vast field of nineteenth-century United States and Confederate States postal history and helped popularize these areas for collectors. He wrote approximately 1,000 articles and columns that appeared in philatelic press between 1960 and 2012. He was a vital force with the United States Philatelic Classics Society and its journal, The Chronicle, where he served as associate editor and then editor of its 1861–1869 section.

He also chaired the USPCS publications planning committee for more than twenty years and helped produce several books. For many years he wrote a column on U.S. postal history for Linn’s Stamp News. Approximately sixty of these columns were reprinted in his book United States Postal History Sampler (1992). His articles have also appeared in The American Philatelist, the Confederate Philatelist, the Postal History Journal, the American Philatelic Congress books, and elsewhere.

The USPCS recognized Graham’s work with the Elliot Perry Cup (1965), the Carroll Chase Cup (1969), the Stanley B. Ashbrook Cup (1975), the Susan M. McDonald award (2005), and he was twice recipient of the Lester G. Brookman Cup for service to the society (1979, 1994). In 1989 he was honored with the society’s Distinguished Philatelist award. Richard Graham was elected to the Writers Hall of Fame in 1991 and received the APS Luff award for distinguished philatelic research in 1992. He also was recognized by the Confederate Stamp Alliance with the Dietz award for distinguished service in Confederate philatelic research and writing.

David Lee Straight (1955–2012)
In a short life, David L. Straight accomplished more in philately than many do in a many decades-long career. David was a prolific writer and researcher. He published more than 250 articles ranging from pneumatic mail, to the history of the Registered Mail system, to the disgraceful treatment of E. G. Lewis by the Post Office Department, to extreme back-of-the-book topics. He had made acquaintances within the U.S. Postal Service who gave him access to more information about Post Office forms than has ever been published.

A librarian by training and vocation, David retired at the age of 55 to write full time. He was constantly researching some esoteric subject, whether at the Yale Library, the Library of Congress, the National Postal Museum, or the Postal Service archives. His research notes fill many file cabinets. His articles appeared in The American Philatelist, The American Stamp Dealer & Collector, Stamp Collector, Confluence (devoted to Missouri history), and countless others.

David was quite vocal about making technology work for philately, at the same time realizing that files must be constantly upgraded to new technologies to keep them viable. He was one of the organizers of the Winton F. Blount Symposium on postal history and the impetus behind Volunteer Work Week at APS Headquarters, He was also the driving force behind the Philatelic Union Catalog, the Philatelic Librarians Roundtable, and Stamp Camp USA, serving as its first Chairman.

David was a long-time member of the board of the American Philatelic Society, a trustee of the American Philatelic Research Library, a vice president of the Postal History Society, presented several topics at Summer Seminar, and served several terms as an officer of the Greater Mound City Stamp Club, APS Chapter 4, and Webster Groves Stamp Club (all three in Saint Louis). He spent more than fifteen years on the Board of St. Louis Stamp Expo, filling more shoes than many realized. David was also curator of the Hawaii exhibit that was one of the opening exhibits when the William H. Gross Gallery opened at the National Postal Museum in 2013.

Straight was honored in 2011 by becoming a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London and was presented the Elizabeth Pope Award for Lifetime Contributions to Philately by Saint Louis Stamp Expo.