National Geographic : 1971 Jan
GILROY ROBERTS, famed for his John F. Kennedy portrait which appears on the U.S . half dollar, is only the ninth man in the entire history of the United States to have served as Chief Sculptor Engraver of the U.S. Mint. Since 1964, he has been the guiding light for the world's foremost private mint, The Franklin Mint. It is probably safe to say that more people collect coins and medals designed by Gilroy Roberts than by any other sculptor who ever lived. ROBERTS HAS THIS TO SAY ABOUT HIS NEWEST SCULPTURES: "Forthis, my second group of bird sculptures, I have chosen five birds familiar to most of us-each with a special personality and beauty that is unique in the world of nature. "The ruby-throated hummingbird is delicate and fascinating-one of the smallest birds on earth, but surely one of the most beautiful. The greater fla mingo is a glorious bird whose graceful walk and flight is an absolute joy to behold. "The ruffed grouse is one of the best-known North American sporting birds-familiar to any one who has walked through a country field in the Spring. The sometimes comical roadrunneris often thought of as a cartoon character, but is actually a beautiful creature which plays an important part in the ecology of the Great Southwest. "My other selection is the peregrinefalcon, a bold and proud bird which, sadly, is in serious danger of becoming extinct." NOTE: The Franklin Mint is an independent publicly-owned corporation, not affiliated with the U.S. Mint or any other gov ernment agency. It operates the world's most extensive private minting facilities, producing coins for foreign countries, com memorative medals for the United Nations, and art medals designed by many of the world's greatest medallic artists.