Your favorite postal worker may be a celebrity in more than just your neighborhood.
Did you know that some of America’s most famous public officials, businessmen, scientists, etc. began their careers as postal employees? Although many people know that inventor Benjamin Franklin served as the first Postmaster General, did you know that President Abraham Lincoln was also employed by the Postal Service®? Before he was president, Abraham Lincoln was appointed postmaster of the New Salem, IL Post Office™ on May 7, 1833. The then 24-year-old Lincoln served in this capacity until the office closed in 1836. Other notable postmasters include abolitionist John Brown, businessman Conrad Hilton and humorist Bill Nye.
Some of the most famous cultural icons also served as a postal employee. Scientist/surgeon Charles Drew, singer/actor Bing Crosby and Disneyland/Disneyworld founder Walt Disney all worked at their local Post Office as a part-time special delivery messenger, clerk or substitute carrier, respectively. These gentlemen began their careers helping to connect Americans through the mail and continued that tradition by connecting Americans through science, the arts and entertainment.
Other famous postal employees include:
William Faulkner: novelist, postmaster – University, MS
Samuel L. Gravely: first African-American admiral, railway mail clerk
Sherman Hemsley: actor, clerk – Philadelphia, PA, and New York, NY
Harry Hooper: baseball Hall-of-Famer, Postmaster – Capitola, CA
Rock Hudson: actor, letter carrier – Winnetka, IL
Sidney Lanier: poet, clerk – Macon, GA
Charles Lindbergh: aviator, contract airmail pilot
Richard Wright: author, substitute clerk – Chicago, IL
Many people have the pleasure of knowing someone who works for the Postal Service. Employees at Norfolk, VA’s Wright Station Post Office can now say they have celebrity in their extended postal family. During the 2012 Summer Olympics, Retail Associate Carolyn Ford had an extra special reason to root for Team USA. Her granddaughter is 2-time Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas! Because of her grandmother’s 30+ year postal legacy, Douglas has always considered herself part of the greater postal family. According to her, “I’m so thankful for all the support,” she said. “My dream is to inspire a nation, which definitely includes my postal family.”
So, the next time you’re greeted by a postal employee, take a good look. You could be talking to the next actor, scientist or President of the United States!