Frederick C. Belen Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Belen, Frederick C., 1913-1999
Hoover, J. Edgar, (John Edgar), 1895-1972
Humphrey, Hubert H., (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968
Kennedy, Theodore R., 1936-
Reagan, Ronald
Williams, G. Mennen, 1911-1988
Frederick C. Belen papers
Date [inclusive]
1.5 Cubic feet

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

Frederick Christopher Belen was born on December 25, 1913 to Christopher and Elizabeth Belen of Lansing, Michigan. He attended Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) and graduated in 1937. He earned a doctor of law degree at George Washington University in 1942. During World War II, Belen served as an officer in the Army Transportation Corps. According to his separation record, Belen "was Deputy Chief, Intelligence and Security Division, Office Chief of Transportation, with responsibility of fire protection, police functions, criminal and intelligence investigations, and intelligence activities at ports of embarkation. Was Security Officer, and Summary Court Officer for the Pentagon (Army Headquarters) Washington, DC."

Belen served as Deputy Postmaster General of the United States from 1964 to 1969. He helped automate mail processing and delivery, established regional distribution centers, and the five-digit ZIP code. In 1962, Belen was awarded a Benjamin Franklin Award for exceptional leadership for being the chief architect of the ZIP code system. Belen married Opal Marie Sheets and had a son, Frederick C., Jr. Belen passed away on October 13, 1999.

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Scope and Contents note

The Frederick C. Belen papers contain photographs related to Belen's career. Images include scenes of Belen with people and groups, including giving speeches, presenting gifts to dignitaries, and on tours. There are also photographs of groups without Belen, and of Belen's office. There are photographs of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Hubert Humphrey, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy and W. Marvin Watson. Other images include mail trucks with logos on them about the new use of ZIP codes.

The correspondence includes letters and cards from well-known politicians such as G. Mennen Williams, Ted Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Robert Byrd, Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., J. Edgar Hoover, Ronald Reagan, and Robert Kennedy. Materials from Belen's service during World War II include personal history, promotion letters, pay, leave, and his orders. The "Personal" folder consists of a variety of materials, such as correspondence from relatives and colleagues, reports from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, Shipley Terrace Citizens Association bylaws and constitutions, Veterans Administration correspondence, and Belen's law school grades.

Please note that the folder titles are the same used by the creator. The archivist provided fuller forms of names, rather than the abbreviations provided by Belen.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections August 2013

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  February 2015

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University. Researchers must also request permission from the copyright holder when copyright is not held by Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Transferred by Michigan State University Special Collections Library.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Michigan State College.
  • Michigan State University. Class of 1937.
  • United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activites.
  • United States. Post Office Department.


  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Memorandums
  • Photographs

Personal Name(s)

  • Belen, Frederick C., 1913-1999
  • Eisenhower, Dwight D., (Dwight David), 1890-1969
  • Johnson, Lyndon B., (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973
  • Kennedy, John F., (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963


  • Postal service -- United States
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Zip codes

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Collection Inventory


Box Folder


4398 1

Mail Trucks 

4398 2

People. Belen, Frederick C. 

4398 3-11

People. Eisenhower, Dwight D. 

4398 12

People. Groups 

4398 13

People. Humphrey, Hubert 

4398 14

People. Individuals. Unidentified 

4398 15

People. Johnson, Lyndon B. 

4398 16

People. Kennedy, John F. 

4398 17

People. Watson, W. Marvin 

4398 18

Scenes. Frederick Belen's Office 

4398 19
Box Folder

Birthday Correspondence 1964-1965 

4398 20

Birthday Correspondence 1968-1969 

4398 21-22

Birthday Correspondence 1966 

4398 23

Birthday Correspondence 1967 

4398 24

Birthday Correspondence 1969 

4398 25

Correspondence from V.I.P.s 1958, 1961-1968, undated 

4398 26

Correspondence - Cabinet Members 1968 

4398 27

Correspondence - Congress 1968 

4398 28

Correspondence - Post Office 1968-1969 

4398 29

Correspondence - Deputy Postmaster General Office 1969 

4398 30

Correspondence - Mail Users Council 1968-1969 

4398 31

Correspondence - Other 1968 

4398 31

Correspondence - Postmasters 1968 

4398 32

Correspondence - Post Office Department Advisory Board 1968 

4398 33

Correspondence - Regional Directors 1968 

4398 33

Memos - President John F. Kennedy assassination 1963 

4398 34

Correspondence with photocopies of photographs 1961-1962, 1965, 1967, undated 

4398 35

Congressional Records - Senator Hart tribute to Belen 1968 

4398 36

Postmaster General Endorsements 1963 

4398 37

Newspaper clippings and publicity 1961-1964 

4398 38-39

"Creative Federalism" 1966-1968 

4398 40

Military Service 1942-1946 

4398 41-43

Military File - Lieutenant Colonel Frederick C. Belen, 0352051 1945-1952 

4398 44

Personal 1947-1952 

4398 45

Post Office Department Regional Letters and Headquarters Circulars 

Box Volume


5142 1


5142 2


5142 3


5143 1


5143 2
Box Folder

Loose materials from 1968 volume 

5143 1