There was a time when, if you lived in Spokane, Bing Crosby might have sold you stamps across a post office counter. If you lived in Chicago, Walt Disney might have delivered your mail – or maybe Rock Hudson, if you were just up the road in nearby Winnetka. More recently, before he starred in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Steve Carell might have put letters in your mailbox if it was in rural Massachusetts. And have you ever wondered where the Grammy-winning John Prine got the title for his album The Singing Mailman Delivers?

Yes, most everyone knows Ben Franklin and Abe Lincoln were once postal employees. But a fair amount of other famous people have had the U.S. Postal Service on their resumes at one time or another. You can find a list of them in the Postal Service’s publication on its history and in the 2016 book Neither Rain nor Snow: A History of the United States Postal Service. We thought it appropriate to acknowledge their largely unknown postal employment on this day honoring labor.

Some, like Disney, had fond memories of their postal days. Others, like William Faulkner, did not. The author of classics like The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying spent 3 years as postmaster at the University of Mississippi “until he was forced to resign in 1924 for his obvious disinterest,” according to Neither Rain nor Snow. “A postal inspector furnished him with a long list of his transgressions, which included treating patrons rudely, failing to forward mail, and writing the greater part of one of his books while he was on duty. 'I will be damned if I propose to be at the beck and call of every itinerant scoundrel who has two cents to invest in a postage stamp.' Faulkner wrote in his letter of resignation.”

On this Labor Day, we recognize the short-timers, the long-timers, and all postal workers. Tell us about your experience. Are you from a family of postal workers? How many years have you served? What is unique about the job?

Comments (6)

  • anon

    Ref: USPS Origin Facility BELL GARDENS, CA 90201 I've had a package at this facility for 5 days now, I found many reviews and comments on this facility that all point towards theft and incompetence at the facility. Please check into that facility and bring them up to the standards expected by all.

    Sep 28, 2016
  • anon

    The comedian Sinbad was also a postal worker

    Sep 08, 2016
  • anon

    I was a famous employee for 37+ years. My two children are famous employees one with 33 years service and the other with 30 years service. That makes our family special 100 years of service. That is special??/ Don't you think???

    Sep 06, 2016
  • anon

    What the heck is a "famous" employee pertaining to the USPS?

    Sep 07, 2016
  • anon

    When you have a P. O. Box, and it Is not renewed because you had a massive Stroke and were in a coma, isn't there a way that the Postal Service tries to contact you?, and doesn't immediately close the box and send back all the mail? Isn't there some way that the Box is kept open until at least the Postal Service tries to learn something about the box holder??? Isn't there?

    Sep 06, 2016
  • anon

    Most of the time, when the box gets full the clerk is supposed to hold the mail for 10 days and then return it unclaimed. However, arrangements can sometimes be made to hold the mail for you to pick it up (not everyone follows the rules to the customer's detriment). And no, they normally would not try to contact you. I wish you a swift recovery.

    Sep 06, 2016

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