The image of Warren G. Harding (1865-1923), the twenty-ninth president of the United States (1921-1923), appears on the 2-dollar issue of the 1938 Presidential Series. Harding's likeness was taken from a medal struck by the U.S. Mint. The 2-dollar yellow-green and black stamp was issued in sheet form on September 29, 1938.
Harding, a newspaper publisher before entering politics, was the sixth president to die in Office. Harding died of heart disease twenty-seven months into his scandal-ridden first term. Vice President Calvin Coolidge replaced him.
The 2-dollar stamp saw limited usage in combination with other stamps to pay a variety of parcel post, registry, and international airmail fees. One of the most difficult presidential values to find as a solo usage, this stamp could have theoretically paid a variety of fees, including four times the fifty-cents-per-half-ounce airmail fee to the Philippines (in effect Aril 21, 1937, through October 31, 1946), four times the fifty-cents-per-half-ounce airmail rate to West Africa (in effect December 2, 1941, through October 31, 1946), and eight times the twenty-five-cents-per-half-ounce airmail rate to most of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific islands (in effect November 1, 1946, through June 30, 1971). In addition, this 2-dollar stamp would have paid five times the forty-cents-per-half-ounce airmail rate to five countries in South America (in effect December 1, 1937, through March 31, 1945).