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BEP Directors

Claude M. Johnson Portrait

Claude M. Johnson

Life: (1852 - 1919)
Director, Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Years in Office: 1893-1900

Claude Johnson was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and he attended school there and in New York.  After returning to Lexington, Johnson worked in the drug business and grocery trade.  He was also involved in local politics, winning election to the city council and serving as mayor for eight years from 1880 to 1888.  Johnson’s appointment as Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Bureau was due in large part to his affiliation with Treasury Secretary John G. Carlisle, a fellow Kentuckian.  He was Director for seven years, during which time the BEP assumed the production of all United States postage stamps.  It was also during his tenure that the title of Chief was changed to Director, at Johnson’s urging, to distinguish the BEP head from the other chiefs of the various divisions within the organization.  He later served as a United States Indian Agent in Arizona and headed a printing establishment in England.  Johnson died in Lexington, Kentucky, at the age of 66.