1998 32¢ + 8¢ Breast Cancer Research
Breast cancer claims the life of one woman every 12 minutes in the United States, and more than 2.6 million women are living with the disease. One out of eight women are expected to develop breast cancer by the age of 80. In recognition of these statistics, the U.S. Postal Service issued the first stamp in its history to have its proceeds earmarked for research organizations.
The Stamp Out Breast Cancer Act, which was signed into law on August 13, 1997, by President Bill Clinton, directed the Postal Service to create a special first class postage stamp. This issue could be priced at 25 percent above regular first class rates. As the first semipostal stamp, the Breast Cancer Research issue cost 40 cents while carrying a postage value of 32 cents. Of the extra eight cents, 70 percent goes to the National Institute of Health, and 30 percent funds medical research by the Department of Defense.
The illustration used for U.S. #B1 was created by Whitney Sherman and shows the mythical “goddess of the hunt.”
40¢ Breast Cancer Research, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate + 8¢ to fund research
Issue Date: July 29, 1998
City: Washington, D.C.
Initial Print Quantity: 280,000,000
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure in sheets of 160, with eight panes of 20 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11
Semipostal stamps are also known as fundraising stamps. The price of the stamp pays the first-class postage rate plus an additional amount to fund a specific cause. As of December 2014, the Breast Cancer Research stamp has sold over 985 million stamps, raising over $80 million.