Rep. Adam Schiff reintroduced legislation on Tuesday to name a post office in Glendale for former U.S. Navy Secretary Paul Ignatius, a son of
one of the first Armenian families to settle in the city.
Schiff’s bill would designate the post office at 6444 San Fernando Road as the “Paul Ignatius Post Office’’ after the 102-year-old who — when he was Navy secretary under President Lyndon Johnson from 1967-69 — was the highest-ranking Armenian American in the U.S. government.
Schiff first introduced the bill in October 2022, but the matter did not make it to the House floor before Congress recessed.
“Paul is a true son of the American Dream — born to Armenian immigrants who escaped horrific persecution overseas, he has dedicated his entire life to serving his country and advocating for his community here in Glendale,” Schiff said in a statement Tuesday.
“His remarkable achievements as a service member, a high-ranking presidential appointee, an academic and a community leader are the kind that will be celebrated by generations of Americans to come. Paul told me that as a young man he did seasonal work for the post office in Glendale, and I’m thrilled to honor him in this one-of-a-kind way.”
In a statement released by Schiff’s office Tuesday, Ignatius said, “The Postal Service is a revered institution, and I am very proud to be associated with it. I’m pleased by this honor for a special reason — I worked at the Glendale post office as a temporary clerk when I was a college student.”
Ignatius was born on Nov. 11, 1920, in Glendale. His family was one of the earliest Armenian families to have settled there, in 1911. Glendale now has the second-largest Armenian population of any U.S. city, behind only Los Angeles.
Ignatius graduated from USC in 1942, enlisted in the Navy and was commissioned as an officer after beginning a master’s program at the Harvard Business School.
He was a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II, principally as an aviation ordnance officer aboard the escort aircraft carrier USS Manila Bay in the Pacific Theater, including participating in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the war’s largest naval battle.
Ignatius was assistant secretary of the Army (installations and logistics), from 1961-64; undersecretary of the Army in 1964; assistant secretary of defense (installations and logistics) from 1964-1967; and U.S. Navy secretary from 1967-69.
In 2019, the Navy commissioned a destroyer, the USS Paul Ignatius, in his honor.
Ignatius has also been active in Armenian issues in California — including as a member of the USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies National Honorary Council, and as a supporter of the Armenian American Museum.
— City News Service
First published in the March 25 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.