Stamp Challenging Best-Selling Elvis Stamp

January 5th, 2004

The Elvis stamp is the best selling stamp in the history of the U.S. Postal Service, but the king of rock and roll may get licked by the founder of the breast cancer stamp, Sacramento's Dr. Ernie Bodai. Bodai's dream of a stamp to fund breast cancer research went on sale in July 1998. It sells for 45 cents -- the price of first-class postage plus a donation.

"Forty million dollars has been raised for breast cancer research," Postal Service spokesman Ralph Petty said. Sales of the breast cancer stamp are at 500 million compared to 517 million for the Elvis stamp. The Elvis stamp's run ended in the early 1990s.

The breast cancer stamp is running out of time to deliver a new best-selling record -- the stamps go off sale at the close of business Wednesday. "If you think about the fact that 500 million stamps have been sold that means that 1.5 billion people have been exposed to it because someone bought, delivered, and received the stamp. The exposure we've gotten is priceless," Bodai said.

The stamp does not have a postage price on it. It was designed that way so that it could continue to sell despite postage increases. Congress has the power to extend the run of the breast cancer stamp, and could vote to put it back on sale in mid-January.

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