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Remembering Benjamin F. Bailar

Former PMG, a pioneer of postal reform, dies

U.S. Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin Bailar
Benjamin Franklin Bailar served as Postmaster General from 1975-1978. Image: National Postal Museum

Benjamin Franklin Bailar, Postmaster General from 1975-1978, died Feb. 20.

Bailar, who was 82, led the Postal Service in the early years of its formation, after enactment of the Postal Reform Act of 1971. He was a proponent of ongoing postal reform, focused on mail service quality and cost controls.

“Benjamin Bailar was a pioneer in postal reform,” said PMG Megan J. Brennan. “His leadership to improve productivity and service while managing costs created a roadmap that continues to guide us today. PMG Bailar’s legacy is a stronger Postal Service that will serve the nation well into the future.”

Joining USPS in 1972, Bailar served as chief financial officer and became deputy postmaster general in 1974. He was appointed the 61st PMG the next year at age 41. He also served on the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee from 2007-2014. An avid stamp collector, he built a philatelic collection around his namesake Benjamin Franklin.

Bailar served in the U.S. Navy before earning his master’s in business administration degree from Harvard Business School in 1959. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado.

A memorial service is planned for April 21 in Lake Forest, IL. Arrangements are being made through the Wenban Funeral Home.

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