United States Postmaster General
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|United States Postmaster General|
|United States Postal Service|
|Member of||Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service|
|Seat||475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C. 20260|
|Appointer||Board of Governors|
|Term length||No fixed term|
|Constituting instrument||39 U.S.C. § 203|
|First holder||Benjamin Franklin|
|Deputy||Deputy Postmaster General|
The United States Postmaster General (PMG) is the chief executive officer of the United States Postal Service (USPS). 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, but can be dismissed by the Board of Governors. The appointment of the postmaster general does not require Senate confirmation. The governors and the postmaster general elect the deputy postmaster general.
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 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).: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.: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, 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.
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 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.:120
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.
List of postmasters general
Under the Continental Congress
|1||Benjamin Franklin||July 26, 1775|
|2||Richard Bache||November 7, 1776|
|3||Ebenezer Hazard||January 28, 1782|
U.S. Post Office Department, 1789–1971
As non-Cabinet department, 1789–1829
|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
U.S. Postal Service, 1971–present
|Name||Date appointed||President(s) served under|
|62||Winton M. Blount||July 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|
- Postmaster General
- John Henninger Reagan, the only postmaster general of the Confederate States of America
- "DeJoy hired four people who worked for his businesses to work at USPS".
- "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.
- The United States Postal Service: An American History 1775–2006 (PDF). United States Postal Service. 2020. ISBN 978-0-9630952-4-4.
- 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.
- "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.
- "History of the United States Postal Service". Mailbox Near Me. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
- "About the Board of Governors". United States Postal Service. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
- Sauter, Michael B.; Ogg, Jon C. "The 10 Highest-Paid Government Jobs". 24/7WallSt.com. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
- Since July 1, 1971, the Postmaster General has been appointed by and serves under the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service.
- "Postal leadership". USPS. June 2020. Archived from the original on 2014-10-03.
- "Papers of Arthur E. Summerfield, Postmaster General, 1953–1961". Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008.