US & World

Southland philatelist makes a major gift to National Postal Museum

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A Southland donor with a passion for stamp collecting has made the largest-ever single gift to the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. KPCC’s Cheryl Devall has more on the story.

Officials at the museum, a branch of the Smithsonian Institution, are pretty excited that William Gross of Newport Beach is loaning some very rare specimens. They include four “inverted Jenny” stamps that depict an early airmail delivery plane upside down. That 91-year-old printing accident created some of the most valuable domestic stamps.

Gross will also allow the postal museum to display his 10-cent George Washington cover from July 2nd, 1847 – the earliest known example of an American postage stamp. Those and other rare stamps will go on display at the museum starting October 1st.

Beyond that, Gross, the founder of global investment management firm PIMCO, has contributed $8 million for a new street-level gallery at the National Postal Museum. The institution will name it after him when it opens in three years.