US Stamps

Molly Goad

Superstar Lena Horne's stamp unveiled at first-day ceremony

February 02, 2018 02:45 PM

  • Gail Lumet Buckley, Lena Horne's daughter, and Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman unveiled the stamp. Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service.
  • The design of the Lena Horne stamp features a detail of a photograph taken by Christian Steiner (second person left of stamp) in the 1980s. Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service.
  • The event was emceed by Amy Niles, president and CEO of WBGO Radio. Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service.
  • Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman dedicated the stamp on Jan. 30 at the Peter Norton Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharp Theater, in New York City. Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service.
  • Gail Lumet Buckley thanked the USPS for the honor and offered remarks on behalf of her mother. Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service.
  • Photographer Christian Steiner and Stroman pose for a photo. Steiner told the audience the story behind the photo shoot that resulted in the photo used for the stamp. Photos by Daniel Afzal, U.S. Postal Service.

By Molly Goad

The United States forever stamp honoring Brooklyn-born entertainer Lena Horne (1917-2010) was unveiled at a first-day ceremony in New York City on Jan. 30.

Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Government Relations Officer Ronald Stroman dedicated the stamp at the Peter Norton Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharp Theater in Manhattan. The event was emceed by Amy Niles, president and CEO of WBGO Radio. 

Other speakers included Gail Lumet Buckley, Horne's daughter, and photographer Christian Steiner. USPS art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp and was also in attendance.

The stamp features a detail of a photograph taken by Steiner in the 1980s, and during the ceremony Steiner recalled the story of the photo shoot. He said Horne was in a “prickly” mood that day, but he was able to win her over. Steiner said he connected with Horne later at the opening of The Lady and Her Music on Broadway. At that time, she said to him, “I don't know how you did it. I was in such a terrible mood that day, but I love the photos.”

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The new vertical commemorative is the 41st stamp in the U.S. Postal Service’s long-running Black Heritage stamp series, which began in 1978 with a 13¢ stamp honoring abolitionist Harriet Tubman. 

As a result of the 1¢ postage rate increase, the nondenominated Lena Horne forever stamp sells for 50¢. The stamp is being issued in a pane of 20.