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United States Postmaster General

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  • Gov. Return J Meigs II, US Sen,. Postmaster Gen. (c.1764 - 1825)
    . Return Jonathan Meigs, Jr. (also known as Return J. Meigs, Jr.) (pronunciation: "Megz" - rhymes with "eggs") (November 17, 1764–March 29, 1825) was a Democratic-Republican politician from Ohio. He ...
  • Albert S. Burleson, US Postmaster General (1863 - 1937)
    Albert Sidney Burleson (June 7, 1863 – November 24, 1937) was a United States Postmaster General and Congressman. Born in San Marcos, Texas, he came from a wealthy Southern family. His father, Edward...
  • Timothy Pickering, US Secretary of State (1745 - 1829)
    Timothy Pickering. He was born, July 17, 1745, Salem, Mass., and died Jan. 29, 1829, Salem, Mass. American Revolutionary officer and Federalist politician who served (1795-1800) with distinction in the...
  • Gideon Granger, 4th Postmaster General (1767 - 1822)
    Gideon Granger Jr. was the fourth Postmaster General of the U.S. under Thomas Jefferson. He held that office for 13 years, 8 under Jefferson, and 5 under James Madison and was one of the eight original...
  • Richard Bache, Sr., 2nd US Postmaster General (1737 - 1811)
    A Patriot of the American Revolution for PENNSYLVANIA. DAR Ancestor #: A004311 Richard Bache (1737-1811) was the second Postmaster-General of the United States, 1776-1790, following his father-in-law...

The United States Postmaster General is the chief executive officer of the United States Postal Service. 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, serving slightly longer than 15 months.

Until 1971, the postmaster general was the head of the Post Office Department (or simply "Post Office" until the 1820s). From 1829 to 1971, he 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. Thus, the Postmaster General is no longer a member of the Cabinet and is no longer in Presidential succession.

During the American Civil War, the Confederate States of America Post-office Department provided mail service for the Confederate States, headed by a Postmaster General, John Henninger Reagan.

The Postmaster General is second-highest paid U.S. government official, based on publicly available salary information, after the President of the United States.

List of Postmasters General