United States Postmaster General

The postmaster general of the United States is the chief executive officer of the United States Postal Service. Megan Brennan is the current postmaster general.

United States Postmaster General
Seal of the former Post Office Department
Megan Brennan

since February 1, 2015
United States Postal Service
StyleMadam Postmaster General
StatusChief executive
Seat475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C.
AppointerBoard of Governors
Term lengthNo fixed term
First holderBenjamin Franklin
DeputyDeputy Postmaster General

Appointed members of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service select the postmaster general and deputy postmaster general, who then join the board.


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[2] 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).[3] 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.[4] From 1829 to 1971, the postmaster general was a member of the president's Cabinet.

The Cabinet post of postmaster general was often given 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[5] and is no longer in the line of presidential succession. The postmaster general is now appointed by nine "governors", appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. The governors, along with the postmaster general and the deputy postmaster general, constitute the full Postal Service Board of Governors.[4][6]

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.[7]

Postmasters general under the Continental Congress

Name Date appointed
Benjamin Franklin July 26, 1775
Richard Bache November 7, 1776
Ebenezer Hazard January 28, 1782

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 Federalist Massachusetts September 26, 1789 Washington
Timothy Pickering Federalist Pennsylvania[8] August 12, 1791 Washington
Joseph Habersham Independent Georgia February 25, 1795 Washington, Adams, Jefferson
Gideon Granger Democratic-Republican Party Connecticut November 28, 1801 Jefferson, Madison
Return J. Meigs, Jr. Democratic-Republican Party Ohio March 17, 1814 Madison, Monroe
John McLean Democratic-Republican Party 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 L. 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

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

Name Date appointed[9] President(s) served under
Winton M. Blount July 1, 1971 Nixon
E. T. Klassen January 1, 1972 Nixon, Ford
Benjamin F. Bailar February 16, 1975 Ford, Carter
William F. Bolger March 15, 1978 Carter, Reagan
Paul N. Carlin January 1, 1985 Reagan
Albert Vincent Casey January 7, 1986
Preston Robert Tisch August 16, 1986
Anthony M. Frank March 1, 1988 Reagan, H.W. Bush
Marvin Travis Runyon July 6, 1992 H.W. Bush, Clinton
William J. Henderson May 16, 1998 Clinton, Bush
John E. Potter June 1, 2001 Bush, Obama
Patrick R. Donahoe January 14, 2011 Obama
Megan Brennan February 1, 2015 Obama, Trump

Note that, while the above table indicates the president under which each postmaster general served, these postmasters general were appointed by the governors of the Postal Service and not by the president.

Living former postmasters general

As of November 2017, there are four living former postmasters general, the oldest being Anthony M. Frank (1988–1992, born 1931). The most recent postmaster general to die was Paul N. Carlin (1985-86), on April 25, 2018.

NameTerm of officeDate of birth
Anthony M. Frank 1988–1992 (1931-05-31) May 31, 1931
William J. Henderson 1998–2001 (1947-06-16) June 16, 1947
John E. Potter 2001–2010 1956 (age 6263)
Patrick R. Donahoe 2011–2015 c. 1955 (age 6364)

See also


  1. O'Keefe, Ed (May 10, 2011). "Salaries of top Postal Service executives revealed". Washington Post. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  2. "Benjamin Franklin — About UPS" (PDF). United States Postal Service. Historian US Postal Service. February 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  3. Publication 100 – The United States Postal Service: An American History 1775–2006. United States Postal Service, May 2007. Also available in PDF format.
  4. United States Postal Service. "Postmasters General". about.usps.com. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
  5. "History of the United States Postal Service". Mailbox Near Me. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  6. United States Postal Service. "About the Board of Governors". about.usps.com. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
  7. Michael B. Sauter and Jon C. Ogg. "The 10 Highest-Paid Government Jobs". 24/7WallSt.com. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  8. "Wayback Machine". 2 February 2017.
  9. Since July 1, 1971, the Postmaster General has been appointed by and serves under the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.