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In anticipation of her impending 100th birthday--and in celebration of her unique and lasting impact on our culture--we are gathering signatures in support of a United States postage stamp commemorating the First Lady of American Burlesque, Gypsy Rose Lee.
Born Rose Louise Hovick in Seattle, Washington in 1911, Ms. Lee was a legendary stage and screen entertainer, whose 1957 memoir inspired the Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents musical, Gypsy: A Musical Fable. Adapted for the screen in 1962 (with Natalie Wood in the title role), Gypsy is widely considered one of the crowning achievements of mid-20th century musical theatre; remaining as relevant--and popular--today as when it first debuted in 1959.
But there was much more to Gypsy, the woman, than Gypsy: the Fable. While her legacy as America's most celebrated stripteaser endures, Ms. Lee's other accomplishments--as an author, playwright, political activist, popular talk show host, fashion icon, and a devoted single mother--are equally noteworthy. A proud patriot, she entertained troops during the Korean and Vietnam wars and was adored by factory workers, homemakers, the military, New York's literary elite, gangsters, Eleanor Roosevelt, and everyone in between.
In honor of Ms. Lee's centennial, we humbly request a tribute worthy of such a beloved (and enduring) American icon: a United States postage stamp in her honor.