Walter Breen

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Walter H. Breen (September 5, 1928April 27, 1993) was an American author and boylover. He is best known among coin collectors for writing Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins.


A foundling child discovered in San Antonio, Texas, Breen strove to distinguish himself academically from a young age and continued excelling academically throughout his post-secondary education. He endured a brief stint in the United States Army, and claimed that a 1947 plane crash while on duty contributed to his photographic memory.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in 1952, having finished four years of coursework in approximately ten months, and later earned his Master's degree from University of California, Berkeley in 1966. As Breen completed his undergraduate college coursework, he immersed himself in the study of coinage. Walter Breen also spent considerable time compiling information on the history of pederasty.

Breen was married to science fiction writer Marion Zimmer Bradley in 1964. They had two children and separated in 1979, yet they continued to see each other. They officially divorced in 1990.

In 1980, both Breen and Bradley were ordained in the Holy Apostolic-Catholic Church of the East (Chaldean-Syrian) priesthood by Metropolitan-Archbishop Mikhail Itkin, a well-known gay clergyman.

Breen has been quite open in his attraction for boys. He actively sought out boys and got in trouble with the law several times. He was first arrested in the 1950s for "lewd behavior", exposing himself to young boys under a boardwalk in Atlantic City. In 1991 he was charged with eight felony counts of child molestation involving a thirteen-year-old boy, the step-son of science-fiction writer Stephen Goldin.

Breen was diagnosed with liver cancer in 1992, and died in prison in Chino, California the next year.


Apart from his influential coinage works Breen extensively researched on the history of pederasty. In 1964, assisted by Warren Johansson, he published his monograph Greek Love (New York: Oliver Layton Press, 1964) under the pseudonym J.Z. Eglinton. The book was later published in UK and Germany. For years Greek Love was the most throughout scholarly work on the history of pederasty.

Apart from Greek Love, Breen also edited the International Journal of Greek Love and contributed several articles in it.

Further reading

  • D.H. Mader, "Walter Breen aka J.Z. Eglinton 1928–1993," in Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context, ed. Vern L. Bullough (New York: Harrington Park Press, 2002)

External links