From Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman, Heritage Auctions:

I hired Ed Jaster in 2002, when Heritage Auctions began expanding into comic books and comic art. He was one of the very first members of our team, eventually serving as our Senior Vice President – and one of the greatest champions of the medium and our industry. His death Sunday at the age of 63, after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer, will leave an immense and unimaginable void both at Heritage and throughout a collecting world he helped build, shape, and nurture.

He was born into the art world: His parents met in the 1940s while attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which Ed would later attend. For some 20 years after that, Ed owned a commercial art firm in Chicago, where he acquired, traded, and sold some of the world’s finest collections of American photography, illustration art and vintage comic books.

It was my pleasure and privilege to hire Ed, who, even then, was known for strong opinions and blunt candor, traits that underscored Ed’s fierce commitment to his work and everyone around him. Ed’s memory was phenomenal. His expertise was second to none. He was the most honest person I’ve ever known.

His passion for Heritage and collectibles wasn’t just part of his job; it was also part of who he was. He traveled extensively across the country, not just as a representative of Heritage but as a partner to the clients he served.

“I had the pleasure of working with Ed for almost 22 years, and counted him as my closest personal friend and mentor,” Heritage Vice President Lon Allen said. “We went on at least 100 trips across the country, during which he regaled me with the history of collections and the collectors themselves. He taught me how to tell at a glance what comic books were truly important and what seasoned collectors would get excited about.”

Collectors’ deep affection for Ed is evident in the condolences posted to the CGC message boards following the announcement of his death Sunday. In the words of one collector, “I am absolutely gutted. … Such a great guy and a class act.”

Please keep Ed’s family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts as we remember his passionate spirit. We will share details about a memorial service as soon as they become available.