J. Edward Day

Edward Day
J. Edward Day 1961.jpg
55th United States Postmaster General
In office
January 21, 1961 – August 9, 1963
PresidentJohn F. Kennedy
Preceded byArthur Summerfield
Succeeded byJohn A. Gronouski
Personal details
James Edward Day

(1914-10-11)October 11, 1914
Jacksonville, Illinois, U.S.
DiedOctober 29, 1996(1996-10-29) (aged 82)
Hunt Valley, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Mary Burgess
EducationUniversity of Chicago (BA)
Harvard University (LLB)

James Edward Day (October 11, 1914 – October 29, 1996) was an American lawyer and business executive, most widely known as the United States Postmaster General under whose leadership the ZIP code was introduced.

Early years and career

James Edward Day was born in Jacksonville, Illinois.[1] He received a B.A. from University of Chicago in 1935, then attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1938.[2] Following law school, Day joined Sidney, Austin, Burgess and Harper in Chicago, where he became a close friend of Adlai Stevenson.[1] In 1940 he joined the Naval Reserve and trained as an officer; he was called to active duty as an ensign in 1942, and was discharged as a lieutenant in 1945.[2]

Day returned to Sidley Austin and in 1948, following Stevenson's election as governor of Illinois, Day worked as a legislative assistant and later as Illinois insurance commissioner.[1][2] In 1953, he left state government for a job with Prudential Insurance Company, taking over its western operations four years later.[2]