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Robert C. Tapella

Public Printer of the United States
Known for Printing

The title of Public Printer of the United States refers to the official head of the Government Printing Office (GPO). Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. ยง 301, this officer must be nominated by the President of the United States and approved by the United States Senate. By law, The Public Printer must be highly skilled in the areas of bookbinding and printing to qualify for the post, although recent changes to the GPO's operating model have made skills in electronic information dissemination a more crucial criterion for appointment. Robert C. Tapella is the 25th Public Printer.



Benjamin Franklin served as Public Printer for several of the American colonies prior to the establishment of the United States. The House and Senate had separate printers until 1861, when the GPO was established; its first superintendent was John D. Defrees. The first man with the title Public Printer of the United States was Almon M. Clapp.[1]


Public Printers

  1. Almon M. Clapp (1876-1877)
  2. John D. Defrees (1877-1882)
  3. Sterling P. Rounds (1882-1886)
  4. Thomas E. Benedict (1886-1889)
  5. Frank W. Palmer (1889-1894)
  6. Thomas E. Benedict (1894-1897)
  7. Frank W. Palmer (1897-1905), O.J. Ricketts (Acting, 1905-1905)
  8. Charles A. Stillings (1905-1908), William S. Rossiter (Acting, 1908-1908), Capt. Henry T. Brian (Acting, 1908-1908)
  9. John S. Leech (1908-1908)
  10. Samuel B. Donnelly (1908-1913)
  11. Cornelius Ford (1913-1921)
  12. George H. Carter (1921-1934)
  13. Augustus E. Giegengack (1934-1948), John J. Deviny (Acting, 1948-1948)
  14. John J. Deviny (1948-1953), Phillip L. Cole (Acting, 1953-1953)
  15. Raymond Blattenberger (1953-1961), John M. Wilson (Acting, 1961-1961), Felix E. Cristofane (Acting, 1961-1961)
  16. James L. Harrison (1961-1970[2])
  17. Adolphus N. Spence (1970-1972), Harry J. Humphrey (Acting, 1972-1973), L.T. Golden (Acting Deputy, 1973-1973)
  18. Thomas F. McCormick (1973-1977)
  19. John J. Boyle (1977-1980), Samuel Saylor (Acting, 1980-1981)
  20. Danford L. Sawyer, Jr. (1981-1984), William J. Barrett (Acting, 1984-1984)
  21. Ralph E. Kennickell, Jr. (1984-1989)
  22. Robert Houk (1990-1993[3] ), Michael F. DiMario (Acting, 1993-1993)
  23. Michael F. DiMario (1993[4]-2002)
  24. Bruce James (2002[5][6]-2007), William H. Turri (Acting, 2007-2007)
  25. Robert C. Tapella (2007[7]-present)


The Public Printer is responsible for the administration of the GPO. The GPO, a service agency of the government, provides electronic access to and produces most printed matter for government, including The Congressional Record, Supreme Court decisions, passports, tax forms, internal government documents, and agency publications. The GPO does not print money, as that is a duty of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.


External links


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