The FDR Stamp Collection

The thirty-second president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), was an avid stamp collector. Parts of his stamp collection are still sought out by stamp collectors, and many collectors were inspired by the President when starting their hobby.

As President, FDR also had a considerable impact on stamps. He met with Postmaster General James A. Farley in the 1930s to discuss ideas for stamp designs and actually drew some designs himself. In fact, he contributed to the designs of more than 200 postage stamps. FDR was also proud of his stamp collecting. He spoke of it in interviews and was photographed many times with his extensive collection. The President, in many ways, made it popular for adults to collect stamps.

Why Did FDR Collect Stamps?

FDR started his stamp collection as a child, and it was a passion he followed into adulthood and into the Oval Office. In interviews, he noted working on his stamp collection was very relaxing for him, and his family told reporters FDR spent time with his collection every day. Even when President, FDR would use the time in between calls and meetings to sit with his collection. As a polio survivor, FDR pursued collecting as a hobby that wasn't physically strenuous but still offered a lot of intellectual stimulation and stress relief.

One of the interesting things about the FDR stamp collection is the way it was depicted in the media. FDR was frequently noted for his collection, and since his death, more than 80 countries have commemorated the former president on their own postage stamps. Monaco, Yemen, Philippines and Turks and Caicos have even issued postage stamps depicting FDR with his stamp collection.

During the 1930s, when politics across the globe was chaotic, the FDR stamp collection had a different value. The White House issued several photographs of FDR with his collection, and historians have noted that seeing the president calmly ordering his stamps from around the world was reassuring at a time when political tensions were high.

The Stamp Collection After FDR’s Death

After FDR’s death, his stamp collection was sold through auction, and today collectors can own part of one of the most famous collections in history. The value of the FDR stamp collection was determined to be $80,000, according to the auction house in charge of the sale. However, the collection was sold for many times that figure. Each page of the albums was stamped with the words “From the Collection of Franklin D. Roosevelt” and collectors today can find pages of this collection at auction or through private sales.

If you're interested in buying or selling a portion of FDR’s stamp collection, or would like to see some of the collection, visit Apfelbaum, Inc. to take a look at some historically significant stamps. Or, look for commemorative stamps with historical figures such as FDR for your collection.