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George von Lengerke Meyer: Wikis


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George von Lengerke Meyer

In office
January 15, 1907 – March 4, 1909
Preceded by George B. Cortelyou
Succeeded by Frank H. Hitchcock

In office
March 6, 1909 – March 4, 1913
Preceded by Truman H. Newberry
Succeeded by Josephus Daniels

City of Boston Common Council
(Ward 10, 1874-1875; Ward 17, 1876)
In office
1889 – 1890

City of Boston, Board of Aldermen
In office
1891 – 1891

In office
1892 – 1896

In office
1894 – 1896

Born June 24, 1858(1858-06-24)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died March 9, 1918 (aged 59)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Republican
Profession Politician

George von Lengerke Meyer (June 24, 1858 – March 9, 1918) was a Massachusetts businessman and politician who served as United States Postmaster General from 1907 to 1909 during the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt and United States Secretary of the Navy from 1909 to 1913 during the administration of President William Howard Taft.

A native of Boston, Meyer held positions in state and local government while also managing his business affairs. While in the Massachusetts Legislature, he served as Speaker of the House. Republican Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt appointed Meyer to ambassadorships in Italy (1900-1905) and Russia (1905-1907).

Meyer also served as Roosevelt's Postmaster General, from 1907-1909, where he directed the introduction of the first stamp vending machines of the country and the first coil stamps necessary[1].

Upon taking office in March 1909, President Taft appointed Meyer to the position of Secretary of the Navy, a post which Meyer held throughout Taft's term. During this period, the Navy made its first experiments with aviation. In separate tests in 1910 and 1911, civilian pilot Eugene Ely proved the feasibility of carrier-based aviation, by taking off from and landing on a Navy warship.

An interesting footnote in the saga of the sinking of the Titanic is that Meyer was awakened, against strict orders, by his personal valet, James Eli Kendall. For his actions, Kendall was fired, apologized to, and then rehired by Meyer.

Meyer retired from national politics in 1913, after Taft left office. He returned to Massachustts and died in Boston on March 9, 1918.

The Navy destroyer USS Meyer (DD-279), named in his honor, was commissioned December 17, 1919 and was in service until May 15, 1929.


Notes and references

George von Lengerke Meyer was a brother in the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Alpha chapter).


  1. ^ Lawrence, Ken (June 2008). "Celebrate the centennial of U.S. coil stamps". Scott Stamp Monthly 26 (6): 18–24.  

External links


  • Who's who in State Politics, 1912 Practical Politics (1912) p. 9.
Government offices
Preceded by
George B. Cortelyou
United States Postmaster General
January 15, 1907 – March 4, 1909
Succeeded by
Frank H. Hitchcock
Military offices
Preceded by
Truman H. Newberry
United States Secretary of the Navy
March 6, 1909 – March 4, 1913
Succeeded by
Josephus Daniels


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