An image of James A. Garfield of Ohio (1831-1881), the nation's twentieth president, appears on the 6-cent stamp. He was one of four presidents assassinated while in office. The others were Abraham Lincoln (1865), William McKinley (1901), and John F. Kennedy (1963).
Garfield had appeared on four previous stamps, the first of which appeared in 1882, the year following his death. Like the stamp issued in 1922, each of the previous Garfield stamps was based on a photograph of Garfield taken by New York photographer Edward Bierstadt. The vignette for the 1922 stamp was engraved by John Eissler. Edward M. Hall and Joachim C. Benzing engraved the frame.
The stamp was released in a flat plate printed version on the day after Garfield's birthday, November 20, 1922. It was subsequently printed on the Stickney rotary press in both sheet and coil versions. When the stamp was first issued, it could have paid postage on triple-weight letters. Beginning in 1934, it could be used to pay the six-cent air mail rate.