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United States Postmaster General

Updated: 2017-08-31T03:56Z
Postmaster General of the United States
Chief Executive Officer of the United States Postal Service
The U.S Postal Service Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer official portait
Megan Brennan

since February 1, 2015
United States Postal Service
AppointerBoard of Governors
Term lengthIndefinite
Inaugural holderBenjamin Franklin
DeputyRonald A. Stroman

The Postmaster General of the United States is the chief executive officer of the United States Postal Service. The office, in one form or another, is older than both the United States Constitution and the United States Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin was appointed by the Continental Congress as the first Postmaster General in 1775, serving just over 15 months.

Until 1971, the postmaster general was the head of the Post Office Department (or simply "Post Office" until the 1820s).[2] From 1829 to 1971, he was a member of the President's Cabinet.

The Cabinet post of Postmaster General was often given[when?] to a new President's campaign manager or other key political supporter, and was considered something of a sinecure. The Postmaster General was in charge of the governing party's patronage, and was a powerful position which held much influence within the party.

In 1971, the Post Office Department was re-organized into the United States Postal Service, an independent agency of the executive branch. Therefore, the Postmaster General is no longer a member of the Cabinet and is no longer in Presidential succession.

The Postmaster General is the second-highest paid U.S. government official, based on publicly available salary information, after the President of the United States.[3]

Postmasters General under the Continental Congress

Name Date appointed
Benjamin FranklinJuly 26, 1775
Richard BacheNovember 7, 1776
Ebenezer HazardJanuary 28, 1782
Samuel Osgood (1747–1813)

Postmasters general over the U.S. Post Office Department, 1789–1971

As non-Cabinet department, 1789–1829

Name State of Residence Date appointed President(s) served under
Samuel Osgood (pictured right)MassachusettsSeptember 26, 1789Washington
Timothy PickeringPennsylvania[4]August 12, 1791Washington
Joseph HabershamGeorgiaFebruary 25, 1795Washington, Adams, Jefferson
Gideon GrangerConnecticutNovember 28, 1801Jefferson, Madison
Return J. Meigs, Jr.OhioMarch 17, 1814Madison, Monroe
John McLeanOhioJune 26, 1823Monroe, J. Q. Adams

As cabinet department, 1829–1971

Name State of Residence Date appointed President(s) served under
William T. BarryKentuckyMarch 9, 1829Jackson
Amos KendallKentuckyMay 1, 1835Jackson, Van Buren
John M. NilesConnecticutMay 19, 1840Van Buren
Francis GrangerNew YorkMarch 6, 1841W. H. Harrison, Tyler
Charles A. WickliffeKentuckySeptember 13, 1841Tyler
Cave JohnsonTennesseeMarch 6, 1845Polk
Jacob CollamerVermontMarch 8, 1849Taylor
Nathan K. HallNew YorkJuly 23, 1850Fillmore
Samuel Dickinson HubbardConnecticutAugust 31, 1852Fillmore
James CampbellPennsylvaniaMarch 7, 1853Pierce
Aaron V. BrownTennesseeMarch 6, 1857Buchanan
Joseph HoltKentuckyMarch 14, 1859Buchanan
Horatio KingMaineFebruary 12, 1861Buchanan
Montgomery BlairDistrict of ColumbiaMarch 5, 1861Lincoln
William DennisonOhioSeptember 24, 1864Lincoln, A. Johnson
Alexander W. RandallWisconsinJuly 25, 1866A. Johnson
John A. J. CreswellMarylandMarch 5, 1869Grant
James W. MarshallVirginiaJuly 3, 1874Grant
Marshall JewellConnecticutAugust 24, 1874Grant
James N. TynerIndianaJuly 12, 1876Grant
David M. KeyTennesseeMarch 12, 1877Hayes
Horace MaynardTennesseeJune 2, 1880Hayes
Thomas L. JamesNew YorkMarch 5, 1881Garfield, Arthur
Timothy O. HoweWisconsinDecember 20, 1881Arthur
Walter Q. GreshamIndianaApril 3, 1883Arthur
Frank HattonIowaOctober 14, 1884Arthur
William F. VilasWisconsinMarch 6, 1885Cleveland
Donald M. DickinsonMichiganJanuary 6, 1888Cleveland
John WanamakerPennsylvaniaMarch 5, 1889B. Harrison
Wilson S. BissellNew YorkMarch 6, 1893Cleveland
William L. WilsonWest VirginiaMarch 1, 1895Cleveland
James A. GaryMarylandMarch 5, 1897McKinley
Charles Emory SmithPennsylvaniaApril 21, 1898McKinley, T. Roosevelt
Henry C. PayneWisconsinJanuary 9, 1902T. Roosevelt
Robert J. WynnePennsylvaniaOctober 10, 1904T. Roosevelt
George B. CortelyouNew YorkMarch 6, 1905T. Roosevelt
George von L. MeyerMassachusettsJanuary 15, 1907T. Roosevelt
Frank H. HitchcockMassachusettsMarch 5, 1909Taft
Albert S. BurlesonTexasMarch 5, 1913Wilson
Will H. HaysIndianaMarch 5, 1921Harding
Hubert WorkColoradoMarch 4, 1922Harding
Harry S. NewIndianaFebruary 27, 1923Harding, Coolidge
Walter F. BrownOhioMarch 5, 1929Hoover
James A. FarleyNew YorkMarch 4, 1933F. Roosevelt
Frank C. WalkerPennsylvaniaSeptember 10, 1940F. Roosevelt, Truman
Robert E. HanneganMissouriMay 8, 1945Truman
Jesse M. DonaldsonMissouriDecember 16, 1947Truman
Arthur E. SummerfieldMichiganJanuary 21, 1953Eisenhower
J. Edward DayCaliforniaJanuary 21, 1961Kennedy
John A. GronouskiWisconsinSeptember 30, 1963Kennedy, L. Johnson
Lawrence F. O'BrienMassachusettsNovember 3, 1965L. Johnson
W. Marvin WatsonTexasApril 26, 1968L. Johnson
Winton M. BlountAlabamaJanuary 22, 1969Nixon

Postmasters General over the U.S. Postal Service, 1971–present

Name Date appointed[5]President(s)
Winton M. BlountJuly 1, 1971Nixon
E. T. KlassenJanuary 1, 1972Nixon, Ford
Benjamin F. BailarFebruary 16, 1975Ford, Carter
William F. BolgerMarch 15, 1978Carter, Reagan
Paul N. CarlinJanuary 1, 1985Reagan
Albert Vincent CaseyJanuary 7, 1986
Preston Robert TischAugust 16, 1986
Anthony M. FrankMarch 1, 1988Reagan, H.W. Bush
Marvin Travis RunyonJuly 6, 1992H.W. Bush, Clinton
William J. HendersonMay 16, 1998Clinton, Bush
John E. PotterJune 1, 2001Bush, Obama
Patrick R. DonahoeJanuary 14, 2011Obama
Megan BrennanFebruary 1, 2015Obama, Trump

Living former Postmasters General

As of August 2017, there are six living former Postmasters General, the oldest being W. Marvin Watson (1968–1969, born 1924). The most recent Postmaster General to die was Benjamin F. Bailar (1975–1978), on February 20, 2017. The most recently serving Postmaster General to die was Marvin Travis Runyon (1992–1998), on May 3, 2004.

NameTerm of officeDate of birth
W. Marvin Watson1968–1969 (1924-06-06) June 6, 1924 (age 93)
Paul N. Carlin1985–1986 (1931-08-25) August 25, 1931 (age 86)
Anthony M. Frank1988–1992 (1931-05-31) May 31, 1931 (age 86)
William J. Henderson1998–2001 (1947-06-16) June 16, 1947 (age 70)
John E. Potter2001–20101956 (age 60–61)
Patrick R. Donahoe2011–2015c. 1955 (age 61–62)

See also


  1. ^ O'Keefe, Ed (May 10, 2011). "Salaries of top Postal Service executives revealed". Washington Post. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Publication 100 – The United States Postal Service: An American History 1775–2006. United States Postal Service, May 2007. Also available in PDF format.
  3. ^ Michael B. Sauter and Jon C. Ogg. "The 10 Highest-Paid Government Jobs". 24/ Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Since July 1, 1971, the Postmaster General has been appointed by and serves under the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service.

External links

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