Wendell Willkie, who challenged Franklin D. Roosevelt for the presidency of the United States in 1940, became the fifty-first addition to the Great Americans Series of stamps when a 75-cent definitive stamp was issued in his honor on February 16, 1992, in Bloomington, Indiana.
Though active in Democratic party politics, including serving as a delegate to the 1924 national convention, Willkie became a staunch critic of the policies of FDR and the New Deal. Encouraged by leaders of the opposition party, he accepted the Republican nomination for president in 1940, losing to Roosevelt by fewer than 5 million votes. Roosevelt, however, recognizing the popularity of his rival, accepted Willkie's offer to embark on a diplomatic mission to help unify the nation in support of the war effort. Many considered Willkie a visionary for his progressive views on international political and social issues.
Designed by Chris Calle, the stamps were engraved through the intaglio process by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and issued in panes of 100.
Postal Bulletin (January 23, 1992).