59¢ James Michener
Distinguished Americans Series
Issue Date: May 12, 2008
City: Washington, DC
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Perforation: 11 ¼ x 11
James Michener (1907-1997) was a bestselling author of more than 40 books, publishing until the year of his death. Born in New York City, he was reportedly abandoned at birth, and raised by a widow, Mabel Michener, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Michener described his young life as poor but happy, stating “I grew up in a bundle of love.” His happy home wasn’t enough to keep the adventurous Michener from wandering. Hitchhiking across the country, he had visited all but three states in the Union by the age of 20, yet still received straight A’s in school.
After earning a B.A. from Swarthmore College, Michener traveled to Scotland and attended St. Andrews University. When he returned to the United States, Michener taught at the George School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, at Colorado State Teachers College, and Harvard University.
When the U.S. entered World War II, Michener joined the Navy. While serving in the Pacific, he wrote his first book, “Tales of the South Pacific,” which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1948.
James Michener served on the U.S. Postal Service Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee. In 2008, the U.S. Postal Service honored Michener with a 59¢ stamp, the 10th in the Distinguished Americans Series.