Who Died This year who Should be Commemorated on a Postage Stamp

The USPS announced this year that they were going to begin to waive the” ten year deceased” rule for commemoration on US postage stamps. Looking at the list of notable deaths of 2011, I don’t think we need to worry that we are going to be inundated by a massive amount of  new issues. It seems that there are just not that many people that the USPS would consider putting on a stamp anyway. Remember, many of the most significant deaths are hardly people we are about to see on our stamps. Vaclav Havel(the Czech writer and Prime Minister and one of the leaders in the demise of the Iron Curtain) is deservedly famous but it is highly unusual to see foreign heads of state on our stamps. Kim Jing-Il is important too, but unless the USPS is planning a Favorite Despots series I don’t think he will be on a United States stamp anytime soon. The Boston Globe lists the 85 most significant deaths of the last yearhttp://www.boston.com/news/obituaries/notable_deaths_of_2011?pg=85   and of that number nationality and esoterica eliminate all but Betty Ford, Steve Jobs, Joe Frazier, Henry Morgan, Harmon Killebrew, Liz Taylor and Jane Russell. Only Liz is a  definite for ten years from now and only she would have been pictured on a stamp as a living person. So I think the worry that picturing current people on stamps will create problems is misplaced. The real problem is that after nearly 2000 commemorative issues, there are not enough new persons deserving to be on United States postage stamps at all.

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