African Americans on Postage Stamps

Charles Mingus

Jazz Composer and Bassist

32-cent Charles Mingus stamp
The Charles Mingus stamp was issued on September 16, 1995.

A talented bass player, pianist, composer, and bandleader, Charles Mingus was a notable 20th century musician. He toured with some of the famous big bands of the 1940s (including the Louis Armstrong Orchestra), accompanied many pioneering jazz musicians such as Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk, and led diverse ensembles. In the 1950s, to safeguard and archive his enlarging collection of original music, Mingus created his own recording and publishing companies. He toured extensively in the United States and abroad until 1977, when he was diagnosed with the rare nerve disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”).

The Black Experience