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Frederick C. Belen papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-10.3.142

Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1942 - 1969


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

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.

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.


1.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Transferred by Michigan State University Special Collections Library.

Legal Status

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

Frederick C. Belen Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
J. Makowski
August 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US