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James E. Casey
Born(1888-03-29)March 29, 1888
DiedJune 6, 1983(1983-06-06) (aged 95)
American Messenger Company in Seattle, Washington, the predecessor to UPS

James E. Casey (March 29, 1888 – June 6, 1983) was an American businessman, known for being the founder of the American Messenger Company, today known as UPS.

In 1907, 19-year-old James Casey founded the American Messenger Company in Seattle, Washington. He served as president, CEO and chairman. Claude Ryan was his partner and his messengers were his brother George and other teenagers. His motto was "best service and lowest rates". Deliveries were made on foot, bicycle, or motorcycle. [1]

He died on June 6, 1983, in a hospital-nursing home in Seattle [2] and his grave is at the mausoleum of the Holyrood Catholic Cemetery in Shoreline, Washington. [3]


Casey was born in Pickhandle Gulch near Candelaria, Nevada, the son of Irish immigrants. [4]

He consistently gave credit to his mother, Annie E. Casey, for holding their family together after Jim's father died. As a youngster delivering packages on the Seattle streets, Jim Casey was exposed to the excesses of a bustling city in the midst of the Klondike Gold Rush[ citation needed]. He credited the guidance of a strong mother and support of his family with keeping him grounded.

On August 28, 1907, he founded the American Messenger Company with Claude Ryan in Seattle, Washington, capitalized with $100 in debt. Most deliveries at this time were made on foot and bicycles were used for longer trips.

In 1913, the American Messenger Company agreed to merge with Evert McCabe's Motorcycle Messengers. Merchants Parcel Delivery was formed and focused now on packages. Their first delivery car was a 1913 Ford Model T. [1]

In 1919, the company expanded beyond Seattle and changed its name to United Parcel Service (UPS).

The successful businessman sought ways to help those who lacked the family life he found to be so crucial. With his brothers George and Harry and his sister Marguerite, Mr. Casey created Casey Family Programs in 1966 to help children who were unable to live with their birth parents—giving them stability and an opportunity to grow to responsible adulthood.

By the time of his death, Mr. Casey left three legacies: UPS, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Casey Family Programs.

Casey was posthumously inducted into the U.S. Department of Labor Hall of Fame (in 2002) and the Logistics Hall of Fame (in 2016). [5]


  1. ^ a b "Hall of Honor Inductee: James E. Casey". 9 December 2015. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  2. ^ "James E. Casey is dead at 95; started United Parcel service". New York Times. 7 June 1983.
  3. ^ "James E. Casey". Find A Grave.
  4. ^ Keane, John F. (2007). Irish Seattle. Arcadia Publishing.
  5. ^ Jörgl, Thilo (30 November 2016). "Logistics Hall of Fame: 13 neue Mitglieder eingezogen". LOGISTIK HEUTE. Retrieved 1 December 2016.

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