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John A. Gronouski

In office
1963 – 1965
Preceded by J. Edward Day
Succeeded by Lawrence F. O'Brien

Born October 26, 1919
Dunbar, Wisconsin
Died January 7, 1996
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Profession Politician

John Austin Gronouski (October 26, 1919–January 7, 1996) was the Wisconsin state commissioner of taxation and the United States Postmaster General.


Gronouski was born in Dunbar, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1942, and then during World War II served as a navigator in the United States Army Air Corps until October 1945. He earned his M.A. in 1947, and his PhD in 1955, both from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[1]

In 1952, he ran in the election for United States Senate against Joseph McCarthy (who won reelection).

In 1959, he joined the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, and was named the executive director of the Revenue Survey Commission. In 1960 he became the Wisconsin state commissioner of taxation, and he supported John F. Kennedy in the election campaign that year. After his well regarded revamping of the Wisconsin tax system, he was appointed postmaster general by President Kennedy in 1963. He was the first Polish-American Cabinet officer. As Postmaster General, he promoted the original five-digit zip code system, and worked to end racial discrimination against postal employees.[2]

He left the post office in 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him ambassador to Poland.

After the Nixon administration assumed power in 1969, he was asked by Johnson to become the founding dean of the LBJ School. He remained dean until 1974.[3] He then retired, and moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he lived for the rest of his life.


  • Archives of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
  • Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia
  • New York Times obituary
Political offices
Preceded by
J. Edward Day
United States Postmaster General
1963 – 1965
Succeeded by
Lawrence F. O'Brien


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