May 3, 2004
Marvin Runyon, a one-time Ford assembly line worker who brought a reputation for tightfisted corporate policies to his job as postmaster general in the mid-1990s, died at his home in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday, May 3, 2004. He was 79. Before his tenure as postmaster general from 1992 to 1998, Runyon had been an executive for the Ford Motor Co., helped Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corp. launch its first U.S. assembly plant and reorganized and streamlined the Tennessee Valley Authority. While postmaster general, the U.S. Postal Service got in the black for the first time since 1989 after losing millions of dollars every year. As postmaster general, Runyon eliminated hundreds of management jobs, reorganized the massive operation and built a business that made more than $1 billion in profits by the time he left.