Steve Jobs and the insanely great Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

As my colleague Dan Nakaso wrote in today’s paper, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is about to be honored as a true man of letters – on his own postage stamp.

When the stamp is unveiled in 2015, Jobs will join a conga line of real and imagined characters, some from the Bay Area, with their likeness ready to be licked. Who, you ask? Well, gay-rights legend Harvey Milk and red-nosed legend Rudolph for starters.

But timing, it appears, is everything when it comes to getting your mug on a US stamp. The Washington Post, which broke the stamp story earlier this week, is reporting that the rule that “you had to be dead for at least 10 years before your face could appear on a U.S. postage stamp” was thrown out three years ago. That, of course, clears the way for the stamp for Jobs, who died in 2011. And for that, we can thank the Postal Service’s Citizen Stamp Advisory Committee who have signed off on the whole affair.

As Fortune points out:

According to the Washington Post, which on Thursday posted what it described as a top secret list of previously unannounced postage stamp subjects, the financially strapped service is trying to raise revenue by putting out stamps chosen to attract younger collectors.

This is not likely to go down well with the traditionalists at the American Philatelic Society. According to their website, the old 10-year cooling off period “allow[ed] the person’s accomplishments to be viewed in the appropriate historical perspective.”

The exceptions, the APS explained, were past U.S. Presidents, each of whom is honored with a memorial stamp on the first birthday following his death.

So, in the spirit of news-you-can-use, here’s the status update from the USPS:

Stamps already approved:

Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton

Stamps still in the  works:

George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Steve Jobs

Stamps ready for release this year:

Harvey Milk

Coming soon to an envelope near you:

The Peanuts Gang, Dora the Explorer, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Charlton Heston, John Lennon, Wilt Chamberlain, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown and Johnny Carson.



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