Bill McAllister, 1941-2023
By Linn’s Staff
Bill McAllister, the longtime Washington correspondent for Linn’s Stamp News, died May 1 at the age of 81.
Mr. McAllister was born Nov. 6, 1941, in Durham, N.C., and raised in nearby Pittsboro, N.C.
According to an obituary posted May 2 on Mr. McAllister’s Facebook page by his four sons, “It was in Pittsboro where he discovered his lifelong fascination with the [United States] Postal Service, often visiting the local Post Office to observe the sorting of the daily mail.”
Mr. McAllister attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees.
He worked for the Washington Post from 1975 to 1999, where he covered the two-term presidency of Ronald Reagan, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and the U.S. Postal Service.
Mr. McAllister “was a mentor to young writers in the craft of reporting and writing and cherished his newsroom relationships throughout his life,” his sons wrote.
Before joining the Post, he worked for the Virginian Pilot in Norfolk, Va., and the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. McAllister was introduced to stamp collecting by his aunt, who gave him his first stamp album, a Minkus beginner album, in 1952. She also introduced him to journalism, which became his lifelong career.
He collected U.S. stamps for many years, with an emphasis on first-day covers and programs.
Mr. McAllister began his pursuit of first-day programs after covering a first-day ceremony for the 1987 22¢ Girl Scouts stamp (Scott 2251) in Washington, D.C.
That ceremony motivated him to write a weekly stamp column that appeared in the Post and other newspapers.
Mr. McAllister joined Linn’s as its Washington correspondent in 1996. He reported on behind-the-scenes activities of the U.S. Postal Service.
Mr. McAllister served as a public affairs officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, retiring as a captain after 26 years of service.
Mr. McAllister is survived by his wife of 57 years, Polly; sons William, Christopher, Jonathan and Benjamin; and seven grandchildren.
A memorial service was to be held May 6 at Providence Presbyterian Church, 9019 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, Va. Donations in Mr. McAllister’s memory may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or Habitat for Humanity.
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