$1 Eugene O’Neill
Prominent Americans Series Coil
Issue Date: January 12, 1973
City: Hempstead, NY
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforation: 10 vertically
Color: Dull purple
Prominent Americans Series
The Prominent Americans Series recognizes people who played important roles in U.S. history. Officials originally planned to honor 18 individuals, but later added seven others. The Prominent Americans Series began with the 4¢ Lincoln stamp, which was issued on November 10, 1965. During the course of the series, the 6¢ Eisenhower stamp was reissued with an 8¢ denomination and the 5¢ Washington was redrawn.
A number of technological changes developed during the course of producing the series, resulting in a number of varieties due to gum, luminescence, precancels and perforations plus sheet, coil and booklet formats. Additionally, seven rate changes occurred while the Prominent Americans Series was current, giving collectors who specialize in first and last day of issue covers an abundance of collecting opportunities.
The $1 denomination features Eugene O’Neill as its subject. O’Neill (1888-1953) is credited with elevating the quality of American theater. His most important plays include: “Beyond the Horizon,” “The Emperor Jones,” “The Great God Brown,” “Mourning Becomes Electra,” and “The Iceman Cometh.” Many critics agree his greatest play is “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”
Upon presenting O'Neill with the Nobel Prize for Literature, Per Hallstrom described his plays by saying, "The conception of life that he presents is not a product of elaborate thinking, but is the genuine stamp of something lived through."
The $1 O’Neill stamp also garnered some unintended notoriety when Theodore Kaczynski – also known as the Unabomber – habitually used it on his mail bombs.