February 24, 2014
The Steve Jobs Postage Stamp
There are certain markers that denote just how famous someone has become and how entrenched in history their name will be. These days, those striving for fame may see having their own Wikipedia page as a symbol of having made it. Others may feel that their life is complete once a doll or action figure of them enters the market. Actually, I have just decided that that is my new life target. Perhaps the greatest and most historically established endorsement of a person’s fame or contribution, though, comes in the form of a simple postage stamp. Once your face is on one of those, you are immortal.
The late Steve Jobs, the inspiration behind one of the greatest business success stories of all time, Apple Inc., is set to appear on US postage stamps by 2015, the Washington Post reports. The eventual winners of a place for their face, of the current rumored nominees, is not usually certain until the point the stamps are released. The US Postal Service likes to create a buzz about potential candidates and to keep the eventual outcome shrouded in mystery. Jobs’ name was mentioned on a ‘leaked’ list.
The USPS has entered into a new phase of trying to appeal to a younger, hipper demographic in recent years. This is controversial to some, particularly older stamp collectors who don’t believe that some of the novelty faces appearing on stamps are worthy of the proud tradition, and that the USPS should not deviate from the ‘Approved Subjects’ list of traditional historical and cultural subjects. There is another controversy surrounding a possible John Lennon stamp, because only Americans are supposed to appear on the stamps.
The USPS says it wishes to appeal to a broad spectrum of the American public and to keep all Americans engaged. They are reported as being ‘cash-strapped,’ by some media outlets, but whether the move to broaden the range of faces on stamps is a cynical attempt to counter that problem, who knows.
At this time, it is probably fair to say that Steve Jobs would fit into that novelty category; one that is supposed to appeal to non-traditionalists. Apple is where it’s at in the early twenty-first century, and while Jobs is admired by young and old alike, it is probably the under-fifty Apple lovers that are the target market. In time though, it is likely that Jobs will be seen as one of the great American innovators and entrepreneurs and take his place in history alongside others of that stature.
Other names on the ‘secret’ list for 2014 and ‘15 are the NBA’s, Wilt Chamberlain, gay rights activist, Harvey Milk, and the legendary musicians Janis Joplin, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix. There are also some celebrity chefs and late-night TV host, Johnny Carson, and the USPS plans to reissue a stamp of Elvis Presley, which is their best-selling stamp, originally released in 1993.
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