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The Potter Legacy.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

John Potter has announced he's stepping down as U-S Postmaster General later this year, 
at the age of 55.

Potter -- known to his friends as "Jack" -- is one of the few Postmasters General to rise 
through the ranks, from postal clerk.

Potter may have had one of the roughest tenures as Postmaster General in history. Three 
months after he took office, there was 9-11, then the anthrax attacks.

Later, he watched Congress saddle the Postal Service with a pension escrow for veterans 
that turned the agency's profit into a loss.

Then there's the decrease in volume in letter mail, one of the most profitable types of 
mail. Certainly the Internet is one reason, but I also think people just don't write 
letters any more.

I'm not sure what Potter could have done or done better on any of these problems.

Although every stamp design and subject is presented to the Postmaster General for approval, 
how much they get involved with stamps varies. Some of Potter's predecessors made suggestions 
and requests...but I don't recall hearing that Potter ever did. Still, the Postal Service 
says he took a keen interest in the stamp program.

When he attended stamp ceremonies, he'd often stick around to sign autographs for collectors -- 
not all his predecessors did.

I'm told that Pat Donahoe, his successor, likes automobile stamps, but we don't know yet if 
he's actually a stamp collector.

I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting, 
visit Virtual-Stamp-Club-dot-com.

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