The likeness of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs may appear on a commemorative U.S. postage stamp in 2015, only four years after his death.
Jobs’ name appeared on a list of approved postage-stamp subjects obtained by The Washington Post. Other notable Americans expected to appear on forthcoming stamps include pop icon Michael Jackson, singer James Brown, rocker Jimi Hendrix, talk-show host Johnny Carson, hoops star Wilt Chamberlain, actor Charlton Heston and gay-rights leader Harvey Milk.
The document from the U.S. Postal Service’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee names “approved subjects” and says that design work on most of them has already begun. But a USPS spokesman said that the list, dated January 7, is still subject to change.
The new subjects are part of an effort by the cash-strapped postal agency to raise revenues by issuing more stamps of pop-culture figures, which are popular with collectors. In November, the USPS released 20 postage stamps honoring Harry Potter, the fictional boy wizard.
“The postal service is looking to bring more timely, relevant, contemporary subjects to stamps … pop-culture subjects appealing to younger audiences,” USPS spokesman Roy Betts said. “It creates excitement.”
Next year, the agency also is expected to reissue a stamp of singer Elvis Presley, which became its all-time top seller — at 29 cents — when it debuted in 1993. (A first-class stamp now costs 49 cents.)
The Postal Service says it issues some stamps to “honor men and women who have made extraordinary contributions to American society and culture.” It used to be that someone had to be dead for at least five years before they could appear on a stamp, but the USPS ended that rule in 2011 and announced that even living people could be featured.
Jobs, who died in 2011, would be the first person from America’s computer industry to be honored on a stamp.
“Steve Jobs made major contributions and is worthy of this recognition,” Betts said.
Other subjects approved for stamps in the coming years, according to the committee’s list: actress Elizabeth Taylor, characters from TV’s “Sesame Street” and the “Peanuts” comic strip, and slain Beatle John Lennon.
U.S. stamps typically honor only Americans, but the USPS has begun making exceptions, such as its 2010 stamp celebrating humanitarian Mother Teresa.
But Betts cautioned that the list of subjects, which was published Thursday by the Post and widely replicated online, is not final.
The names on the list “still may not appear on a postage stamp,” he said. “There are no guarantees.”
The 12-member Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee considers about 50,000 ideas a year, mostly from the public. It recommends about 35 new subjects for commemorative stamps each year to the postmaster general, who makes the final decision.
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