United States Postmaster General

United States Postmaster General
Seal of the United States Department of the Post Office.svg
Seal of the former Post Office Department
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

NameDate appointed
1Benjamin FranklinJuly 26, 1775
2Richard BacheNovember 7, 1776
3Ebenezer HazardJanuary 28, 1782
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 PartyNameState of residenceDate appointedPresident(s) served under
4Samuel OsgoodMassachusettsSeptember 26, 1789Washington
5Timothy PickeringPennsylvaniaAugust 12, 1791Washington
6Joseph HabershamGeorgiaFebruary 25, 1795Washington, Adams, Jefferson
7Gideon GrangerConnecticutNovember 28, 1801Jefferson, Madison
8Return J. Meigs, Jr.OhioMarch 17, 1814Madison, Monroe
9John McLeanOhioJune 26, 1823Monroe, J. Q. Adams

As cabinet department, 1829–1971


  No party  Federalist  Democratic-Republican  Democratic  Whig  Republican

Political PartyNameState of residenceDate appointedPresident(s) served under
10William T. BarryKentuckyMarch 9, 1829Jackson
11Amos KendallKentuckyMay 1, 1835Jackson, Van Buren
12John M. NilesConnecticutMay 19, 1840Van Buren
13Francis GrangerNew YorkMarch 6, 1841W. H. Harrison, Tyler
14Charles A. WickliffeKentuckySeptember 13, 1841Tyler
15Cave JohnsonTennesseeMarch 6, 1845Polk
16Jacob CollamerVermontMarch 8, 1849Taylor
17Nathan K. HallNew YorkJuly 23, 1850Fillmore
18Samuel Dickinson HubbardConnecticutAugust 31, 1852Fillmore
19James CampbellPennsylvaniaMarch 7, 1853Pierce
20Aaron V. BrownTennesseeMarch 6, 1857Buchanan
21Joseph HoltKentuckyMarch 14, 1859Buchanan
22Horatio KingMaineFebruary 12, 1861Buchanan
23Montgomery BlairDistrict of ColumbiaMarch 5, 1861Lincoln
24William DennisonOhioSeptember 24, 1864Lincoln, A. Johnson
25Alexander W. RandallWisconsinJuly 25, 1866A. Johnson
26John A. J. CreswellMarylandMarch 5, 1869Grant
27James W. MarshallVirginiaJuly 3, 1874Grant
28Marshall JewellConnecticutAugust 24, 1874Grant
29James N. TynerIndianaJuly 12, 1876Grant
30David M. KeyTennesseeMarch 12, 1877Hayes
31Horace MaynardTennesseeJune 2, 1880Hayes
32Thomas Lemuel JamesNew YorkMarch 5, 1881Garfield, Arthur
33Timothy O. HoweWisconsinDecember 20, 1881Arthur
34Walter Q. GreshamIndianaApril 3, 1883Arthur
35Frank HattonIowaOctober 14, 1884Arthur
36William F. VilasWisconsinMarch 6, 1885Cleveland
37Donald M. DickinsonMichiganJanuary 6, 1888Cleveland
38John WanamakerPennsylvaniaMarch 5, 1889B. Harrison
39Wilson S. BissellNew YorkMarch 6, 1893Cleveland
40William L. WilsonWest VirginiaMarch 1, 1895Cleveland
41James A. GaryMarylandMarch 5, 1897McKinley
42Charles Emory SmithPennsylvaniaApril 21, 1898McKinley, T. Roosevelt
43Henry C. PayneWisconsinJanuary 9, 1902T. Roosevelt
44Robert J. WynnePennsylvaniaOctober 10, 1904T. Roosevelt
45George B. CortelyouNew YorkMarch 6, 1905T. Roosevelt
46George von L. MeyerMassachusettsJanuary 15, 1907T. Roosevelt
47Frank H. HitchcockMassachusettsMarch 5, 1909Taft
48Albert S. BurlesonTexasMarch 5, 1913Wilson
49Will H. HaysIndianaMarch 5, 1921Harding
50Hubert WorkColoradoMarch 4, 1922Harding
51Harry S. NewIndianaFebruary 27, 1923Harding, Coolidge
52Walter F. BrownOhioMarch 5, 1929Hoover
53James A. FarleyNew YorkMarch 4, 1933F. Roosevelt
54Frank C. WalkerPennsylvaniaSeptember 10, 1940F. Roosevelt, Truman
55Robert E. HanneganMissouriMay 8, 1945Truman
56Jesse M. DonaldsonMissouriDecember 16, 1947Truman
57Arthur E. SummerfieldMichiganJanuary 21, 1953Eisenhower
58J. Edward DayCaliforniaJanuary 21, 1961Kennedy
59John A. GronouskiWisconsinSeptember 30, 1963Kennedy, L. Johnson
60Lawrence F. O'BrienMassachusettsNovember 3, 1965L. Johnson
61W. Marvin WatsonTexasApril 26, 1968L. Johnson
62Winton M. BlountAlabamaJanuary 22, 1969Nixon

U.S. Postal Service, 1971–present

NameDate appointed[13]President(s) served under
62Winton M. BlountJuly 1, 1971Nixon
63E. T. KlassenJanuary 1, 1972Nixon, Ford
64Benjamin F. BailarFebruary 16, 1975Ford, Carter
65William F. BolgerMarch 15, 1978Carter, Reagan
66Paul N. CarlinJanuary 1, 1985Reagan
67Albert Vincent CaseyJanuary 7, 1986
68Preston Robert TischAugust 16, 1986
69Anthony M. FrankMarch 1, 1988Reagan, H.W. Bush
70Marvin Travis RunyonJuly 6, 1992H.W. Bush, Clinton
71William J. HendersonMay 16, 1998Clinton, Bush
72John E. PotterJune 1, 2001Bush, Obama
73Patrick R. DonahoeJanuary 14, 2011Obama
74Megan BrennanFebruary 1, 2015Obama, Trump
75Louis DeJoyJune 15, 2020Trump, 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. ^ https://about.usps.com/who/leadership/board-governors/
  4. ^ https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2020/0506-bog-announces-selection-of-louis-dejoy-to-serve-as-nations-75th-postmaster-general.htm
  5. ^ "39 U.S. Code § 202 – Board of Governors".
  6. ^ https://about.usps.com/who/leadership/officers/pmg-ceo.htm
  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

Media files used on this page

Samuel Osgood, first Postmaster General of the U.S. Photograph of a mural by Constantino Brumidi in the rotunda, United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
Seal of the United States Department of the Post Office.svg
Seal of the former United States Department of the Post Office.
Louis Dejoy Official .webp
Author/Creator: Ubriache, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Louis Dejoy