In Memory of



Obituary for Christopher Coover

Christopher R. Coover departed peacefully on April 3, 2022, on his 72 nd birthday, a
true coda for an ardent music lover. Chris grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York, on
the Vassar campus, where his parents were professors. His childhood rambles in
the surrounding woods and swamps stoked a lifelong love and respect for the
natural world. As an accomplished musician (and the son of an eminent music
librarian), he derived joy from music of all types. Chris brought an artist’s eye to
everything in his world. He took great delight in life, and his interests were many,
varied, and deep: geology, gardening, hiking, cooking, book collecting and more.
Chris was a polymath: curious, witty, generous, and modest, as comfortable
discussing history with scholars as he was bushwhacking through the woods of the
Catskills. He particularly enjoyed the sensation of peering in through the windows
of the past, and his career involved doing just that. He worked for more than thirty-
five years at Christie’s New York and retired in 2016 as Senior Specialist in the
Rare Books and Manuscripts Department. In that time, he was responsible for
authenticating, appraising, and selling such historically significant manuscripts as
Joyce’s “Ulysses,” Stoker’s “Dracula,” Kerouac’s “On the Road,” George
Washington’s annotated copy of the Constitution, and many others. He was an
appraiser on “Antiques Roadshow,” a past president of the Manuscript Society, and
an authority in the field of historical books and documents. He is survived by his
wife of more than 40 years, Lois Adams, his son and daughter Tim Coover and

Chloe Coover, his sisters and brothers-in-law Mauri Coover and John Reid, Regan
Coover (Chichester) and Paul Blaszak, and his nephew Nigel Chichester. He also
has family in Colorado, Michigan, and California. He is deeply loved and will be
greatly missed. Anyone wishing to give a gift in his name can donate to: National
Park Trust, The Rosenbach Museum and Library (
give/), or WQXR (

(See also