The Postmaster General Hangs Up His Mail Bag, With a Parting Shot at Congress

Amazon, booze and benefit cuts: How Patrick Donahoe tried to remake the struggling U.S. Postal Service

COO and Executive Vice President of U.S. Postal Service Megan Brennan listens to questions from the media after a news conference on Sept. 15, 2011 at the headquarters of the U.S. Postal Service in Washington.

When Patrick Donahoe began his job as an afternoon shift postal clerk at a Pittsburgh post office in 1975, the mail was still sorted by hand. Packages weren’t much of a priority. And email, let alone online shopping, were decades away.

“It was a dusty, dreary old place,” Donahoe says. Yet he stuck it out for nearly 40 years, rising to become postmaster general of the institution he joined as a 20-year-old student at the University of Pittsburgh making $4.76 an hour in pocket money. On Friday, Donahoe announced the end of that run. He’ll retire on Feb. 1, 2015 after four transformative and tumultuous years running the USPS.

Read more: The Postmaster General Hangs Up His Mail Bag, With a Parting Shot at Congress | TIME.