Celebrities: Bob Hope

Postal Service Salutes 'G.I. Bob' With First-Class Stamp

Bob Hope Stamp Issued on What Would Have Been Entertainer's 106th Birthday

One of the nation's most revered entertainers and humanitarians was immortalized by the Postal Service today when it dedicated the 44-cent Bob Hope First-Class commemorative stamp on the flight deck of the USS Midway, where "G.I. Bob" twice entertained service men and women during his nearly six-decade commitment to boosting military morale.

Hope's daughter, Linda, and his son Kelly joined U.S. Postal Service Pacific Area Vice President Michael J. Daley in dedicating the stamp on what would have been Hope's 106th birthday. All 100 million stamps are available nationwide today.

"The U.S. Postal Service has taken on the task of honoring someone as monumental as Bob Hope on something the size of a postage stamp," explained Daley.

"This is quite a challenge considering he lived a lifetime lasting 100 years, had a successful career on stage, radio, television and film for more than seven decades and showed great generosity by giving immeasurable amounts of his time and talent to our men and women in uniform. Even though all of his time spent on military bases around the world was as a civilian, it's significant that he was the first person recognized by the U.S. Congress as an honorary veteran of the United States Armed Forces. The First-Class stamp that we are unveiling is a wonderful portrait that preserves the memory of a First-Class citizen, Bob Hope. It is indeed time for us to say to him, thanks for the memory."

"I know Dad would have been thrilled by this honor," said Hope's daughter, Linda, "but he probably would have joked about the increase in the price of stamps. In one of his monologues he said, 'Have you seen the new commemorative the Post Office is issuing? They feature pictures of people who died of shock when they heard what a stamp will cost.'"

"Dad loved Golf," she added. "He often said he only did show business to pay greens fees." Hope played on some 2,000 courses the world over and sank seven holes-in-one.

Although Hope never officially served in the U.S. Armed Forces, Hope dedicated a significant part of his life to entertaining America's men and women in uniform, starting in 1941 and continuing through Operation Desert Storm five decades later. After giving hundreds of performances overseas, he earned the nickname "G.I. Bob."

Bob Hope entertained military personnel on the USS Midway in 1972 in Singapore Harbor and again in 1987 in the western Pacific Ocean. Hope's thousands of honors also included the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Among his many friends were several U.S. Presidents, with whom he often played golf for charity.

Bob Hope Stamp Design

Kazuhiko Sano of Mill Valley, CA, worked under the direction of art director Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, to create the stamp image. The image is based on a composite of 1980s photographs of Hope. In 2006, the Postmaster General reduced the time for a person to become eligible to be commemorated on a stamp from 10 years to five. Hope is the first to be honored under this criterion.

Additional information on Bob Hope and the USS Midway Museum is available at www.bobhope.com and www.midway.org.

Postal Service Offers Military Mailing Discounts

To coincide with the stamp issuance near the Memorial Day holiday, the Postal Service is extending Bob Hope's legacy of entertaining American men and women in uniform by encouraging communities nationwide to support the troops and send care packages to military personnel stationed around the world.

Care packages and reminders of home are a big morale boost for military service members stationed around the world. To help families and friends of military personnel, the Postal Service offers a discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat-Rate Boxes addressed to U.S. military overseas. The domestic mail prices for Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box is normally $13.95, but for packages addressed to U.S. military addresses overseas, the price will be reduced to only $11.95. For more information, visit: http://www.usps.com/supportingourtroops/welcome.htm.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office(TM), at The Postal Store(R) website at www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by July 30, 2009.

How to Order First-Day Covers

Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:

An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 149 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes, six days a week. It has 34,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services, not tax dollars, to pay for operating expenses. Named the Most Trusted Government Agency five consecutive years by the Ponemon Institute, the Postal Service has annual revenue of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world's mail.

SAN DIEGO, May 29, 209 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

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