David Lee Straight
May 31, 1955 – October 16, 2012
Saint Louis, Missouri
In a short life, David L. Straight accomplished more in philately than many do in a many decades-long career. David was a prolific writer and researcher. He published more than 250 articles ranging from pneumatic mail, to the history of the Registered Mail system, to the disgraceful treatment of E. G. Lewis by the Post Office Department, to extreme back-of-the-book topics. He had made acquaintances within the U.S. Postal Service who gave him access to more information about Post Office forms than has ever been published.
A librarian by training and vocation, David retired at the age of 55 to write full time. He was constantly researching some esoteric subject, whether at the Yale Library, the Library of Congress, the National Postal Museum, or the Postal Service archives. His research notes fill many file cabinets. His articles appeared in The American Philatelist, The American Stamp Dealer & Collector, Stamp Collector, Confluence (devoted to Missouri history), and countless others.
David was quite vocal about making technology work for philately, at the same time realizing that files must be constantly upgraded to new technologies to keep them viable. He was one of the organizers of the Winton F. Blount Symposium on postal history and the impetus behind Volunteer Work Week at APS Headquarters, He was also the driving force behind the Philatelic Union Catalog, the Philatelic Librarians Roundtable, and Stamp Camp USA, serving as its first Chairman.
David was a long-time member of the board of the American Philatelic Society, a trustee of the American Philatelic Research Library, a vice president of the Postal History Society, presented several topics at Summer Seminar, and served several terms as an officer of the Greater Mound City Stamp Club, APS Chapter 4, and Webster Groves Stamp Club (all three in Saint Louis). He spent more than fifteen years on the Board of St. Louis Stamp Expo, filling more shoes than many realized. David was also curator of the Hawaii exhibit that was one of the opening exhibits when the William H. Gross Gallery opened at the National Postal Museum in 2013.
Straight was honored in 2011 by becoming a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London and was presented the Elizabeth Pope Award for Lifetime Contributions to Philately by Saint Louis Stamp Expo.