Postal Service to Honor Living Individuals on Stamps

Invites Public to Offer Suggestions through Social Media

September 26, 2011 

Release No. 11-109  


WASHINGTON — Beginning next year, Americans will see acclaimed musicians, sports stars, writers, artists and other nationally-known figures on U.S. postage stamps — while they are still alive. The Postal Service is inviting the public to use social media to submit their ideas for individuals to honor.

The Postal Service is dropping a rule that currently requires an individual to have been deceased at least five years before being honored on a stamp. Under the new guidelines, living or recently deceased individuals will be eligible for commemoration on postage stamps.

“This change will enable us to pay tribute to individuals for their achievements while they are still alive to enjoy the honor,” said Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General. “These remarkable individuals — through their transformative achievements in their respective fields — have made enduring contributions to the United States of America. Honoring living individuals expands the interest in stamp topics and keeps our program timely, relevant and contemporary.”

Stephen Kearney, manager, Stamp Services, said, “Engaging the public to offer their ideas is an innovative way to expand interest in stamps and the popular hobby of collecting them. We are inviting our customers to submit the top five living individuals they would like to see on stamps through Facebook and Twitter. As always, you can mail your suggestions to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, c/o Stamp Development, Room 3300, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington DC 20260-3501.”

Stamp Selection Process
Each year, the Postmaster General’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) — composed of individuals whose backgrounds reflect a wide range of educational, artistic, historical and professional expertise — receives as many as 40,000 suggestions for stamp subjects. The Committee selects subjects of broad national interest for recommendation to the Postmaster General. Approximately 50 new subjects are recommended each year. Stamp selections are made with all postal customers in mind, not just stamp collectors. Visit the link for information on the committee and the stamp selection process.

2012 Stamps Previewed on Social Media
Using social media, the Postal Service began raising interest in stamp collecting by previewing select stamps from the 2012 commemorative program.

Customers can view the stamps on Facebook at, through Twitter@USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for back stories on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government,, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $67 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 29th in the 2010 Fortune 500. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency six consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

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