Lester C. Lanphear III
Lester C. Lanphear III
was introduced to philately at the age of eight by his
stamp collecting grandfather.
After a career move to Los Angeles in 1966, he
discovered stamp shops and started collecting used United States classic stamps.
By 1970, Les had transferred to San Diego and had begun to participate in organized philately by attending stamp shows and joining the local stamp club, the Philatelic Society of Los Angeles.
became interested in United States booklet panes and, finally, in 1975, began his
life-long collection and study of United States Officials.
Similar to other collecting areas, besides stamps, Officials include essays, proofs, special printings, covers, and even postal stationery.
Unlike other collecting areas, Officials were issued for each executive government department, including Agriculture, Executive, Interior, Justice, Navy, Post Office, State, Treasury and War.
has collected and studied all the departments and is best known for his
has exhibited virtually all areas of Officials both domestically and internationally, beginning with the The Interior Department in 1990.
That was the first United States Official exhibit to ever receive an international gold award.
In addition, his
showing of U.S. Departmentals
was the first United States Official exhibit to receive a national Grand Award and has since received two international large gold awards.
In 1977, soon after he
began studying Officials, Les
met postal historian and writer Charles Starnes.
Through a mentor relationship with Starnes, Les
continued to learn much about Officials, particularly covers and postal history.
Starnes encouraged Les
to write and was fortunately successful.
Les has been the assistant section editor for the Officials et al. section of The Chronicle of the U. S. Classic Postal Issues since 1995.
has written many articles, primarily concerning the postal history of United States Officials and United States Penalty Clause Mail.
articles have won both of the writers' awards for The Chronicle, the Mortimer L. Neinken Award in 1995 and the Susan M. McDonald Award in 1997.
Click to Enlarge Image
The D.P.A. Award
has been and continues to be very active in organized philately.
He is a member of many philatelic organizations, including the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, the American Philatelic Society, the New York Collectors Club, the Royal Philatelic Society of London, the Western Cover Society and the Collectors Club of Southern California.
He has served in various leadership positions, including president of the Collectors Club of Southern California.
In 1984, while president of the San Diego stamp club known as The Philatelic 25, Les became the representative to the Federated Philatelic Clubs of Southern California, the sponsoring organization for SESCAL stamp show.
He served the Federation as an officer from 1992 to 1997, including president from 1996 to 1997, and is still a representative.
was recognized for his
contributions to philately in Southern California when he
received the Federation's Distinguished Service Award in 1998.
Also through The Philatelic 25, Les became the representative to the San Diego Philatelic Council, a group representing local clubs that organized Sandical stamp show and the San Diego County Philatelic Library.
Les was very active with the library, serving as librarian for seven years.
association with the Sandical
stamp committee began in 1997 and he
is still active today.
In 2003, he
received the Sandical John Tracy Memorial Award for philatelic service to San Diego County.
Today, it is with pleasure that the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society
acknowledges the exceptional contributions to philately by Lester C. Lanphear III
by honoring him as a Distinguished Philatelist.