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Jesse M. Donaldson

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Jesse Donaldson
53rd United States Postmaster General
In office
December 16, 1947 – January 20, 1953
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded byRobert E. Hannegan
Succeeded byArthur Summerfield
Personal details
Jesse Monroe Donaldson

(1885-08-17)August 17, 1885
Shelbyville, Illinois, U.S.
DiedMarch 25, 1970(1970-03-25) (aged 84)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Resting placeForest Hill Calvary Cemetery
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Nell Graybill
(m. 1911)

Jesse Monroe Donaldson (August 17, 1885 – March 25, 1970) was the first United States Postmaster General to have started his career as a letter carrier.[1]


Postmaster General Jesse M. Donaldson (left) at the President Truman's Oval Office to taking his new Freedom Stamps, (April 1950).

Donaldson was born in Shelbyville, Illinois. He was the son of merchant and local postmaster Moses Martin Donaldson, and his wife, Amanda Saletha Little. Donaldson was a Methodist and a Freemason. Donaldson married Nell Fern Graybill on August 14, 1911, with whom he had three children. Donaldson began his postal career in 1908, as the one of three mailmen for the Shelbyville, Illinois, then rose through the ranks of the Department.

He was appointed U.S. Postmaster General by President Harry S. Truman on December 16, 1947, following the resignation of Robert E. Hannegan. He served for the remainder from the Truman's administration until January 20, 1953. During this the period, he modernized the postal service and also announced the "3 cent Gold Star Mothers" stamp in recognition of the Sullivan brothers' and his mother.[2]

Donaldson died at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 25, 1970. He was buried at the Forest Hill Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.[3]


  1. ^ "Donaldson, Jesse Monroe", in Biographical Directory of the United States Executive Branch, 1774–1989, Robert Sobel, ed. (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990) p. 108
  2. ^ "Sheet of Gold Star Mothers Stamp to be presented to Mrs. Sullivan". Release No. 513. Post Office Information Service. September 16, 1948. Postmaster General Jesse M. Donaldson today announced that the first sheet of the 3-cent Gold Star Mothers commemorative Postage Stamp will be presented to Mrs. Thomas F. Sullivan at Waterloo, Iowa, on September 21, 1948.
  3. ^ "Jesse Donaldson, Truman Aide, Dies". The Kansas City Times. March 26, 1970. p. 5D. Retrieved October 8, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
Political offices
Preceded by United States Postmaster General
Served under: Harry S. Truman

1947 – 1953
Succeeded by