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United States Postmaster General

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Postmaster General
Louis Dejoy Official .webp
Louis DeJoy
since June 16, 2020
United States Postal Service
StylePostmaster General
StatusChief executive
Member ofBoard of Governors of the United States Postal Service
Seat475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C. 20260
AppointerBoard of Governors
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument39 U.S.C. § 203
First holderBenjamin Franklin
DeputyDeputy Postmaster General

The United States Postmaster General (PMG) is the chief executive officer of the United States Postal Service (USPS).[2] The PMG is responsible for managing and directing the day-to-day operations of the agency.

The PMG is selected and appointed by the Board of Governors of the Postal Service, the members of which are appointed by the president of the United States, with the advice and consent of the United States Senate. The postmaster general then also sits on the board. The PMG does not serve at the pleasure of the president, and can be dismissed by the Board of Governors.[3] The appointment of the postmaster general does not require Senate confirmation.[4][5] The governors and the postmaster general elect the deputy postmaster general.

The current officeholder is Louis DeJoy, who was appointed on June 16, 2020.[6]


The office, in one form or another, dates from before the United States Constitution and the United States Declaration of Independence, having been based on the much older English and later British position of Postmaster General. Benjamin Franklin was appointed by the Continental Congress as the first postmaster general in 1775[7] serving just over 15 months. Franklin had previously served as deputy postmaster for the British colonies of North America since 1753.

Until 1971, the postmaster general was the head of the Post Office Department (or simply "Post Office" until the 1820s).[8]: 60–65  During that era, the postmaster general was appointed by the president of the United States, with the advice and consent of the United States Senate.[8]: 120  From 1829 to 1971, the postmaster general was a member of the president's Cabinet. After the passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act in 1883 and prior to the passage of the Hatch Act of 1939,[9] the postmaster general was in charge of the governing party's patronage and was a powerful position which held much influence within the party, as exemplified by James Farley's 1933–1940 tenure under Franklin D. Roosevelt.[10]

After the spoils system was reformed, the position remained a Cabinet post, and it was often given to a new president's campaign manager or other key political supporter, including Arthur Summerfield, W. Marvin Watson, and Larry O'Brien (all of whom played key roles organizing the campaigns of presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson, respectively), and was considered something of a sinecure. Notably, poet and literary scholar Charles Olson (who served as a Democratic National Committee official during the 1944 United States presidential election) declined the position in January 1945.

In 1971, the Post Office Department was re-organized into the United States Postal Service, an independent agency of the executive branch, and the postmaster general was no longer a member of the Cabinet[11] nor in line of presidential succession. The postmaster general is now appointed by the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service, appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate.[8]: 120 [12]

List of postmasters general

Under the Continental Congress

Name Date appointed
1 Benjamin Franklin July 26, 1775
2 Richard Bache November 7, 1776
3 Ebenezer Hazard January 28, 1782
Samuel Osgood (1747–1813)
Samuel Osgood (1747–1813)

U.S. Post Office Department, 1789–1971

As non-Cabinet department, 1789–1829


  No party   Federalist   Democratic-Republican   Democratic   Whig   Republican

Political Party Name State of residence Date appointed President(s) served under
4 Samuel Osgood Massachusetts September 26, 1789 Washington
5 Timothy Pickering Pennsylvania August 12, 1791 Washington
6 Joseph Habersham Georgia February 25, 1795 Washington, Adams, Jefferson
7 Gideon Granger Connecticut November 28, 1801 Jefferson, Madison
8 Return J. Meigs, Jr. Ohio March 17, 1814 Madison, Monroe
9 John McLean Ohio June 26, 1823 Monroe, J. Q. Adams

As cabinet department, 1829–1971


  No party   Federalist   Democratic-Republican   Democratic   Whig   Republican

Political Party Name State of residence Date appointed President(s) served under
10 William T. Barry Kentucky March 9, 1829 Jackson
11 Amos Kendall Kentucky May 1, 1835 Jackson, Van Buren
12 John M. Niles Connecticut May 19, 1840 Van Buren
13 Francis Granger New York March 6, 1841 W. H. Harrison, Tyler
14 Charles A. Wickliffe Kentucky September 13, 1841 Tyler
15 Cave Johnson Tennessee March 6, 1845 Polk
16 Jacob Collamer Vermont March 8, 1849 Taylor
17 Nathan K. Hall New York July 23, 1850 Fillmore
18 Samuel Dickinson Hubbard Connecticut August 31, 1852 Fillmore
19 James Campbell Pennsylvania March 7, 1853 Pierce
20 Aaron V. Brown Tennessee March 6, 1857 Buchanan
21 Joseph Holt Kentucky March 14, 1859 Buchanan
22 Horatio King Maine February 12, 1861 Buchanan
23 Montgomery Blair District of Columbia March 5, 1861 Lincoln
24 William Dennison Ohio September 24, 1864 Lincoln, A. Johnson
25 Alexander W. Randall Wisconsin July 25, 1866 A. Johnson
26 John A. J. Creswell Maryland March 5, 1869 Grant
27 James W. Marshall Virginia July 3, 1874 Grant
28 Marshall Jewell Connecticut August 24, 1874 Grant
29 James N. Tyner Indiana July 12, 1876 Grant
30 David M. Key Tennessee March 12, 1877 Hayes
31 Horace Maynard Tennessee June 2, 1880 Hayes
32 Thomas Lemuel James New York March 5, 1881 Garfield, Arthur
33 Timothy O. Howe Wisconsin December 20, 1881 Arthur
34 Walter Q. Gresham Indiana April 3, 1883 Arthur
35 Frank Hatton Iowa October 14, 1884 Arthur
36 William F. Vilas Wisconsin March 6, 1885 Cleveland
37 Donald M. Dickinson Michigan January 6, 1888 Cleveland
38 John Wanamaker Pennsylvania March 5, 1889 B. Harrison
39 Wilson S. Bissell New York March 6, 1893 Cleveland
40 William L. Wilson West Virginia March 1, 1895 Cleveland
41 James A. Gary Maryland March 5, 1897 McKinley
42 Charles Emory Smith Pennsylvania April 21, 1898 McKinley, T. Roosevelt
43 Henry C. Payne Wisconsin January 9, 1902 T. Roosevelt
44 Robert J. Wynne Pennsylvania October 10, 1904 T. Roosevelt
45 George B. Cortelyou New York March 6, 1905 T. Roosevelt
46 George von L. Meyer Massachusetts January 15, 1907 T. Roosevelt
47 Frank H. Hitchcock Massachusetts March 5, 1909 Taft
48 Albert S. Burleson Texas March 5, 1913 Wilson
49 Will H. Hays Indiana March 5, 1921 Harding
50 Hubert Work Colorado March 4, 1922 Harding
51 Harry S. New Indiana February 27, 1923 Harding, Coolidge
52 Walter F. Brown Ohio March 5, 1929 Hoover
53 James A. Farley New York March 4, 1933 F. Roosevelt
54 Frank C. Walker Pennsylvania September 10, 1940 F. Roosevelt, Truman
55 Robert E. Hannegan Missouri May 8, 1945 Truman
56 Jesse M. Donaldson Missouri December 16, 1947 Truman
57 Arthur E. Summerfield Michigan January 21, 1953 Eisenhower
58 J. Edward Day California January 21, 1961 Kennedy
59 John A. Gronouski Wisconsin September 30, 1963 Kennedy, L. Johnson
60 Lawrence F. O'Brien Massachusetts November 3, 1965 L. Johnson
61 W. Marvin Watson Texas April 26, 1968 L. Johnson
62 Winton M. Blount Alabama January 22, 1969 Nixon

U.S. Postal Service, 1971–present

Name Date appointed[13] President(s) served under
62 Winton M. Blount January 1, 1971 Nixon
63 E. T. Klassen January 1, 1972 Nixon, Ford
64 Benjamin F. Bailar February 16, 1975 Ford, Carter
65 William F. Bolger March 15, 1978 Carter, Reagan
66 Paul N. Carlin January 1, 1985 Reagan
67 Albert Vincent Casey January 7, 1986
68 Preston Robert Tisch August 16, 1986
69 Anthony M. Frank March 1, 1988 Reagan, H.W. Bush
70 Marvin Travis Runyon July 6, 1992 H.W. Bush, Clinton
71 William J. Henderson May 16, 1998 Clinton, Bush
72 John E. Potter June 1, 2001 Bush, Obama
73 Patrick R. Donahoe January 14, 2011 Obama
74 Megan Brennan February 1, 2015 Obama, Trump
75 Louis DeJoy June 15, 2020 Trump, Biden

See also


  1. ^ "DeJoy hired four people who worked for his businesses to work at USPS". CNN. 15 September 2020.
  2. ^ "39 U.S. Code § 203 – Postmaster General; Deputy Postmaster General".
  3. ^[bare URL]
  4. ^[bare URL]
  5. ^ "39 U.S. Code § 202 – Board of Governors".
  6. ^[bare URL]
  7. ^ "Benjamin Franklin — About USPS" (PDF). United States Postal Service. Historian US Postal Service. February 2003. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 October 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  8. ^ a b c The United States Postal Service: An American History 1775–2006 (PDF). United States Postal Service. 2020. ISBN 978-0-9630952-4-4.
  9. ^ Savage, Sean J. (1991). Roosevelt: The Party Leader, 1932–1945. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0813117553. Archived from the original on July 9, 2020.
  10. ^ "Farley And Howe To Rule Patronage; To Ease Roosevelt's Burden, They Will Meet the Office-seekers at Capital. Working All Next Month. Meantime, Republicans Plan to Reorganize Committees and Start Publicity for 1936". The New York Times. January 11, 1933.
  11. ^ "History of the United States Postal Service". Mailbox Near Me. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  12. ^ "About the Board of Governors". United States Postal Service. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
  13. ^ 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

This page was last edited on 1 February 2023, at 21:58
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