How to Address a Mayor of A US City



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HONOR & RESPECT

Abbess,
    Christian Orthodox       
Abbot,
    Christian Orthodox        
Accountant        
Acting Official       
Adjutant General     
Admiral
        

Admiral, Texas Navy   
Adventist Minister       
Alderman
        

Archbishop, Catholic        
Archbishop,
   Christian Orthodox        
Archdeacon, Episcopal        
Archimandrite        
Architect
Archpriest        
Ambassador, Goodwill
Ambassador to your country
   from a foreign country      
Ambassador of the U.S.
   by a U.S. Citizen       
American Indian Chief        
Assemblyman
   U.S., State / or           

   Assemblywoman            
Associate Justice,
   U.S. Supreme Court          
Associate Justice of a
   State Supreme Court
Astronaut      
Attorney
         
Attorney General           
Attorney General,
       Assistant   
Attorney, U.S.         
Australian Officials    

Baron, Baroness           
British Officials,
   Royalty, Nobility     
Brother, Catholic
         
Brother,
   Christian Orthodox          
Bishop, Catholic            
Bishop,
   Christian Orthodox         
Bishop, Episcopal        
Board Member     
Boy        
Brigadier General       
Business Cards      

Canadian Officials    
Candidate    
Captain,
   USA, USAF, USMC     
Cardinal
             
Chairman
    Federal Reserve      
Chairwoman      
Chancellor      
Chaplain in the
    Armed Services        
Chaplain of Congress          

Chargé d’Affaires         
Chief Executive Officer 
Chief Judge          
Chief Justice,
      U.S. Supreme Court 
Chief Justice, of a State
      Supreme Court             

Chief of Police          
Chief of Staff     

Chief Operating
   Officer          
Child
           
Chiropractor     
City Manager
   
Clergy & Religious
    Officials     
Club Official          
Colonel, Kentucky      
Colonel, USA, USAF,
    or USMC     
Commandant       
Commissioner, Court     
Commissioner
         
Commodore of a         
      Yacht Club         
Congressman, U.S.               
Congresswoman, U.S.   
Consul and or
   Consul General   
 
Consultant      
Corporate Executive         
Councilman
    Councilwoman      
Counselor (Diplomat)      
Countess     
County Officials       
Couples     
    U.S. Military
    U.S. Officials
    Private Citizens  
Curator        

Dalai Lama          
Deacon         
Dean, academic            
Dean, clergy            
Deceased Persons        
Degree, honorary      
Delegate, U.S., State
            

Dentist             
Deputy Chief of Mission      
Deputy Marshal          
Designate,
Elect,
    Pro Tempore      
Diplomats      

District Attorney           
Doctor, Chiropractor     
Doctor of Dentistry
          
Doctor of Medicine              
Doctor, Military           
Doctor of
   Veterinary Medicine          
Doctor, Optometrist   
Doctor of Osteopathy            
Doctor, Other Disciplines     
Doctorate        
Doctorate, honorary      

Earl            
Elect, Designate
  
Pro Tempore      
Emeritus/emerita
     
Eminence     
Emperor    
Engineer    
Etiquette    
Excellency           

Family     
Fiancee      
Firefighter    
First, Second,
   Third, etc.        
First Lady, Spouse
   of the President of
   the United States 
First Lady, Member
    of Her   
    White House Staff      
First Lady, Spouse
   of a Governor
   or Lt. Gov.    
First Lieutenant
   
Flag Protocol     
Former Officials    
Freeholder       

Gay Couple      
Geshe

General
    USA, USAF, USMC
Girl       

Goodwill Ambassador      
Governor General         
Governor, Lieuten
ant
 
Governor, Lt., Spouse   

Governor, Tribal Council          
Governor, U.S. State       
Governor, Former    
Governor
    Spouse of     
Governor's Staff,
    Member of
     
Governors, Board of 

High Commissioner    
Honorable, The
          
Honorary Ambassador       
Honorary degrees
Honorary doctorate
   
Honourable, The
   
 
   

Indian Chief         
Inspector General    
Interim Official   
Introductions       
Invitations
  
   Writing &  
   Addressing  
Invitations
   
Military:
    Writing &
    Addressing

Judge, former     
Judge of US City or

        US Count     
Judge, US Federal            
Junior, Senior,
    I, II, III, etc.       

Justice, Associate

     Federal
     Supreme Court

Justice, Associate

     State
     Supreme Court

King     
Knight      

Late, The
   (deceased persons)
       
Lawyer      
Lesbian Couple    
Lieutenant      
Lieutenant Colonel,     
   USA, USAF, USMC      
    
Lieutenant General,
   USA, USAF, USMC      

Lieutenant Governor    
     

Major
   USA, USAF, USMC  
Major General,
   USA, USAF, USMC   
Man, business
          
Man, social
         
Marquess / Marchioness
 
 
Married Women       
Marshal for a
   Judicial District, U.S. 
Mayor, U.S. City   
Mayor, Canadian City    
Mayor Pro Tempore
     
Mayor, Vice    
Medic      
Minister,
   Protestant Clergy       
Miss      
Monk,
   Christian Orthodox     
Monsignor       
Most Reverend, The        
Mother Superior
    
Mr. (Social)      
Mr. (Business)      
Mrs., Ms. (Use, Social Forms)      
Mrs. vs. Ms.     
Mr. & Mrs. / Couples   
   

Name Badges or Tags     
Nobility, British
       
Nobility, Other     
Nun, Catholic
  
Nun, Orthodox
Nurse           

Officer, Police     
Optometrist     

Pastor, Christian Clergy  
Patriarch,
   Christian Orthodox  
Patriarch,
   Ecumenical Patriarch
   of Constantinople  
People with Two Titles      
Permanent
     Representative        
Petty Officer
      
Pharmacist     
Physician
        
PhD     
Place Cards            
Police Chief
Police Officer                     
Pope, Catholic
  
Pope, Coptic
      
Postmaster General         
Post-Nominal
    Abbreviations    
Presbyter, Orthodox
   
President, corporate
President of
    College or
    University   
President of a
    Secondary
    School      
President of a
    US State Assembly 
President (current)
   of the U.S.A.          
President (former)
   of the U.S.A.     
     
President of the
    U.S.A., spouse of  
President-elect
    of the U.S.   
Priest, Catholic          
Priest,
    Christian Orthodox 
Priest, Episcopal        
Prime Minister
       
Principal      
Professionals
   & Academics         
Professor
     
Pro Tempore,
   Elect, Designate    
Psychologist      

Queen

Rabbi               
Ranger, Texas        
Representative,
   U.S., Federal           
Representative,
   U.S., State            
Reservist, Military      
Resident
    Commissioner 
Retired Military
   1. Formula For
       How to Address     
   2. Q&A / Blog On
       Use of Rank by
       Retired Military    
 

   3. Q&A / Blog on
       How to Address
       Retired Military   
Reverend, The
      
Right Reverend, The         

Same Sex Couple      
Salvation Army    
School Board Member
     
Second
Lieutenant        
Secretary,
   U.S. Department,
   Member of the Cabinet
Secretary
   of Defense, U.S.       
Secretary, Assistant       
Secretary General
   of the U.N.            
Senator, U.S., Federal       
Senator, U.S., State         
Senator, Canadian       
Senior, Junior,
     I, II, III, etc.         
Senior Judge 
      
Sergeant       
Sergeant at Arms
          
Seventh Day
     Adventist Minister       
Sheriff       
Sister, Catholic       
Solicitor General      
Speaker of the U.S.
   House of
   Representatives.           
Specialist       
Spouse of the
    President of the U.S.       
Spouse of the
    Vice President
    of the U.S.           
Spouse of an
    Elected Official            
State Attorney     
Surgeon General          

Texas Ranger        
Town Justice      
Town Manager       
The Honorable     
Tribal Officials     
Two Titles,
    Person With

Under Secretary    
US Attorney
       
US Federal Officials
     
US State Officials     
US Municipal Officials

Venerable, The        
Veteran (not Retired)         
Veterinarian
           
Very Reverend, The         
VFW Officer/Official    
Vice Mayor       
Vice President
    of the U.S.
Spouse of the
    Vice President
   
of the U.S.
Vice President-elect
    of the U.S.      
 
Viscount and/or
   Viscountess        

Warrant Officer       
Widow
     
White House Staff    
Woman, business        
Woman, social        

Yacht Club Officer      


   

How to Address a United States Mayor

Envelope, official:
    The Honorable
        (Full name)
            Mayor of (municipality)
                (Address)

Letter salutation:
    Dear Mayor (surname):

All about The Honorable
Link to Q&A just on officials in the U.S. addressed as The Honorable


FYI, here is what's come in to the Blog that relates to this office/rank.
   For recent questions sent in, check out Robert Hickey's Blog.

   For specific offices/ranks, check out Robert Hickey's On-Line Guide.


Are Officials The Honorable for Life?
I am a the mayor of a municipality - and the question arose, "Are mayors honorable for life?"
             --- Cate Wilson in Florida

Dear Mayor Wilson:
The rule for U.S. officials elected to office in a general election is "Once an Honorable, always an Honorable"  So if you are currently the elected mayor of a municipality you are most formally: The Honorable Cate Wilson, Mayor of (town) ... and I would call you in conversation "Madame Mayor" -or- "Mayor Wilson" -or perhaps "Your Honor"
    When you leave office you will be"  The Honorable Cate Wilson, former Mayor of (town)-.  ... and I would call you "Ms. Wilson" -- since jobs of which there is only one at a time, don't continue to use the "title" when they are out of office.

           -- Robert Hickey

How to Address a Former Mayor?
Hi Robert:
I am addressing an invitation to a former mayor. How do I correctly do that??
 
     --- Karen Szczpanski

Hi Karen:
        Address a former mayor on the envelope or address block of a letter use this form:
  
              The Honorable (Full name)
  
                   Address
        On the salutation, in conversation, or if your invitation has an inside envelope use this:
         
           Mr./Mrs./Dr./etc. (Surname):
        Sometimes you will see or hear former mayors addressed as Mayor (name) but it is not correct, Address a former mayor as Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (whatever honorific they had before becoming mayor) (Name).
       The reason? In a city there is only one mayor at a time. It's not respectful to the current officer holder, and is potentially confusing to be addressing more than one person as Mayor (Name).
Being addressed as
Mayor (Name) is a courtesy of the office and is reserved for the current office holder. I know, I know, I know, you hear former mayors addressed as Mayor (Name), but addressing a former mayor as Mayor (Name) is simply a reporter flattering the former official's ego, or the former official seeking to continue to enjoy the courtesies due his or her former lofty post.
      [This contrasts with officials of which there is more than one office holder at a time -- e.g, there are many judges, ambassadors, generals, admirals, professors, senators etc. at a time -- and these former office holders DO use their (Special Honorific)+(Name) in every situation for the rest of their lives.]
    And one more question: did the mayor leave office on good terms? Those who leave a high office in disgrace do not continue to be addressed as The Honorable
.
            -- Robert Hickey

How to Address an Acting Official?
    
Would it be appropriate to address an acting mayor of a U.S. city as The Honorable? Do you call him Mayor (Name)?
   
           -- Cheryl

Dear Cheryl:
    The Honorable is reserved for officials elected in a general election ... or those very high officials appointed by the President of the United States and approved by the U.S. Senate.
    So if he/she is serving as acting mayor through an appointment ... he/she would not be The Honorable  ... I say that with one exception: he or she might have been
The Honorable due to prior elected service.
    Typically acting officials are not addressed in conversation as if they were the elected and inaugurated official. An 'acting' mayor of a city, governor of a state, or president of a college isn't really the office holder -- he or she is 'acting'.  So in a salutation or conversation use Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Name) and identify as the acting mayor.
  
            -- Robert Hickey

Hi Robert:
 
     This really helps us.  Our acting mayor who was formerly an elected legislator. Consequently, we will continue to refer to him as The Honorable.  We appreciate your assistance!
   
           -- Cheryl

How To Address a Mayor-Elect?
      I have a question that I cannot seem to find an answer to.
      Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel is coming to our building today. If I have the occasion to address him personally, should I call him Your Honor even though he will not take office for two months? Or is he simply Mr. Emanuel still?

              - Laurie in Chicago

Dear Laurie:
    Address him as Mr. Emanuel.
    He will be addressed with the forms of address due a Mayor when he takes the oath and is sworn in.  He is already The Honorable Rahm Emanuel on a letter because he has been elected office, but won't be addressed as the mayor until he takes office.
                     -- Robert Hickey

How To Address an Elected Official Who Is Also a Physician?
      In our line of work we deal with numerous elected officials.  What is the proper address for a letter to a Mayor of a City who is also a practicing medical doctor?
              - Lisa in Temple, Texas

      How would I address a wedding invitation to a couple where the man is a physician and a Senator?  Which trumps which?  Dr. and Mrs. Ray Cleary or Senator and Mrs. Ray Cleary?
              - Tammy the Party Girl

Dear Lisa and Tammy:
       Officially, if you are writing to an elected official regarding their activities as an elected official, address him or her as an elected official ... in these cases as a current mayor or retired senator.  If you are writing to him or her as your doctor, address as a doctor.
       Socially, being an elected official trumps being a Dr., so address the individual in the style of their elected office. Use the form for a current or former ... which ever is appropriate.
       I give all the forms in my book -- both for official correspondence and invitations.
       1) Both are The Honorable (Full Name) on the envelope on address block of a letter now and forever.
       2) Former Senators continue to be addressed as Senator (Surname) in conversation and in a salutation. 
       3) Current Mayors are addressed as Mayor (Surname) since being The Mayor is a one-at-a-time position and only the current Mayor can be The Mayor. BUT Former Mayors go back to whatever they were before being elected ... so physicians would typically go back to Dr. (Surname) in conversation or in a salutation.
       All that said .... Bill Frist, former U.S. Senator from Tennessee was an MD, preferred to be addressed as "Dr. Frist" when he served in the United States Senate rather than "Senator Frist." It was his personal preference, so people respected his preference, but other physicians followed the more traditional way and were addressed as The Honorable (Full Name) / Senator (Surname). There are probably a million doctors, but only 100 US Senators. But that was his choice.
        -- Robert Hickey

How to Address a Former Governor? Former Mayor?
      Good morning Robert:
      I'm writing to inquire into an apparent discrepancy between Judith Martin's writing on former titles and the position you put forth in you wonderful book (let's not even discuss Letitia's written position.) Specifically, Miss Manners writes about the One At A Time Rule (OAAT Rule) applying only to the President and that title holders revert back to their prior highest official title held.  You write that the OAAT Rule refers to all exclusive positions (Gov/Mayor.) which there is only one office holder at a time.
      How does the lay person make sense of what looks like inconsistency within our field?  Many thanks for you help, Robert!
     -- Susan
, Graduate, The Protocol School of Washington

Dear Susan:
    
If Judith Martin says a former governor is formally addressed as "Governor" and a former mayor if formally addressed as "Mayor" ... then I would disagree with her and would not agree it is historically based.   Formally they are "The Honorable" and revert back their highest former title that wasn't a O-A-A-T office.
     I see my book as a listing of the most formal forms of address, figuring that 'informal' is 'free style" and easier: everyone can do it. But I do get people who disagree. Nixon's post-presidential staff addressed him as "Mr. President." I've had e-mails from readers in Annapolis saying they always called former Maryland governors "Govenor (Name)".  I read that Sarah Palin's publishing publicist directed people to call her "Governor Palin' when she was on her book tour. And I've seen Newt Gingrich addressed as "Speaker Gingrich" on TV by George Stefanopolis.  Former vice presidents, prime ministers, chief justices, chairmen, and chancellors, get the same treatment.
     But everytime I have directly asked a current or former "o-a-a-t" office holder ... be they a mayor of a city or president of the country club .... they confirm the "o-a-a-t rule" is correct -- having been in the situation of being 'current' and dealing with 'formers.'
     The point is not denying the former official of his or her history .... or dishonoring their service  ... but in honoring our system that elects just person one at a time to certain high offices .... and being clear who speaks for the authority of the office.
     Re consistency .... I always insert the "most formally" phrase because people do realized that what they hear on TV is narrative in the third person.  A newscaster referring to President Clinton and Secretary Clinton in a story ... is not a direct forms of address.
     I also find that asking the question "in your club or association, is the former president addressed as 'President'?"  That question gets their affirmation that having multiple presidents -- or multiple mayors -- or multiple governors -- is confusing.

           
  -- Robert Hickey

How To Write My Name as The Mayor with My Doctor Husband?
My husband is a doctor and I am the mayor of our town.  How should we be signing registries, cards, etc. as a couple?  I am signing as Dr. and Mrs. Carl Wilson. Is that correct?  Can my mayor title go anywhere in there? How should I be signing our Christmas Cards?
             --- Cate Wilson in Florida, again

Dear Mayor Wilson:
If you are signing an official card, register, or guest book
as the Mayor --- use the following:
             Cate Wilson, Mayor of (town) and Dr. Carl Wilson
      I am suggesting you put your self first: as an elected official you have higher precedence that your husband. And I am suggesting you don't call yourself Mayor Cate Wilson, since one doesn't give oneself an honorific (I don't introduce myself saying "Hi I am Mr. Robert Hickey.")  And one doesn't identify oneself as The Honorable (full name).
      Inside personal holiday cards -- not sent as the Mayor but by you and your husband -- you could use the same as you use officially if you want to Cate Wilson, Mayor of (town) and Dr. Carl Wilson  ... or you could use your social name ... Dr. and Mrs. Carl Wilson. Either way, if you are sending it to close friends and family  -- draw a line through the printed names and and write by hand your first names ... "Cate and Carl"
           -- Robert Hickey

How to Address an Someone Addressed as
"The Honorable" and His Wife?
   
   How does one address the envelope of an invitation to the mayor of a city and his wife?
        -- Susan Hensley

   I need to address our elected sheriff and his wife. On the envelope, would it be The Honorable and Mrs. James Smith?
        -- Agnes Harrington

Dear Ms. Hensley & Ms. Harrington:
    
I cover how to every type of elected official and spouse in Chapter Nine: Joint Forms of Address.
    
You didn't tell me the names ... so depending those ... there are several options.
    If she uses "Mrs."  and uses the same last name ... then traditionally her first name does not appear:
 
       The Honorable William Stanton
   
        and Mrs. Stanton
       
   
    (Address)
    This is the form the White House would use for a married couple using the same last name. The rule is not to break up "The Honorable" from "(name)"
    What you want to avoid is:
 
       The Honorable and Mrs. William Stanton
     
       (Address)
    If she uses a different last name, then her first name does appear, e.g.:
 
       The Honorable Alan Greenspan
     
       and Ms. Andrea Mitchell
         
   
   (Address)
    If she has her own rank, courtesy title, or some special honorific, then her first name does appear:
        The Honorable William Stanton
   
        and Lieutenant Linda Stanton
       
        (Address)
 
       The Honorable William Stanton
     
       and Dr. Linda Stanton
     
           (Address)
        The Honorable William Stanton
   
        and the Reverend Linda Stanton
       
   
    (Address)
    Probably more answer than you wanted ... but I hope that is useful.

         -- Robert Hickey


Not Finding Your Question Answered?
Below are other topics covered in my blog and at right is a list of officials, Between the two I probably have what you are looking for.
     After hunting around a bit, if you don't see your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day (unless I am traveling.)
      If I think your question is of interest to others, I will post the question & answer – with your name and any personal specifics changed.
      -- Robert Hickey

USE OF NAMES & HONORIFICS   
Mr., Miss, Jr., III, & Names        
Married Women       
Deceased Persons         
People with Two Titles
Post-Nominal Abbreviations and Initials         
 
Couples: Private Citizens / Joint Forms of Address 
Couples: U.S. Military / Joint Forms of Address     
Couples: U.S. Officials / Joint Forms of Address      

USE OF SPECIFIC OFFICIAL TITLES        
Former Officials            
Professionals and Academics        

United States Federal Officials, Currently In Office             
United States State Officials, Currently In Office              
United States Municipal Officials, Currently In Office             
       All About The Honorable with U.S. Officials         
       Former United States Officials of all types             
United States Armed Services, Active Duty             
       Addressing Retired Personnel      
       Use of Rank by Retired Personnel      
       Use of Rank by Veterans      

Tribal Officials 
           
Clergy and Religious Officials           
Canadian Officials         
Australian Officials          
British Officials, Royalty, and Nobility        
Diplomats and International Representatives
           
Foreign National Officials and Nobility        

SPECIFIC SITUATIONS
Business Cards       
Couples        
Etiquette
            
Flags and Anthem Protocol             
Introductions
            
Invitations: Writing & Addressing
        
Invitations: Just Armed Service Personnel        
Name Badges & Tags            
Names on Programs, Signs, & Lists            
Naming a Building or Road            
Place Cards            

Plaques, Awards, Diplomas, Certificates    
Precedence: Ordering Officials 
         
Thank You Notes             


Site updated by Robert Hickey on August 31, 2014

Back to directory of titles  /  See who is using Honor & Respect

For forms of address for invitations, place cards, name badges, introductions, conversation, and all other formal uses, see Honor & Respect: the Official Guide to Names, Titles, and Forms of Address.

Copyright © 2013 Robert Hickey.     All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Marc Goodman.





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