Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"
How to Address a Former Vice President?
How do I address the envelope and what is the proper salutation and closing on the thank you note to a former vice president of the United States?
——————-– About to write a letter
The current vice president is addressed orally as Mr. Vice President. But traditionally being vice president is a one-person-at-a-time office and former officials don’t continue to be so addressed when they leave office.
In the current popular view vice president is a permanent rank one attains and keeps. Thus many think that the former office holder is Vice President (Name) forever.
You will have noted this in the media where former vice presidents are addressed, and referred to, as Vice President (Name). For a reporter this informs the viewer/reader of what office this person once held. But it can be misleading. Aware reporters are quick to note their ‘former’ status so no one mistakenly thinks they are the current office holder.
Some former office holders insist upon being addressed as Vice President (Name) in their post-office private endeavors. Most of the time it doesn’t create confusion and it strokes their ego, but at an official event one should avoid addressing a former vice president as Vice President (Name).
———-The Honorable (Full Name)
———-* Dick Cheney was as member of the House of Representatives formally Mr. (Surname) in writing – so he is: Dear Mr. (Surname):
—–—–* Joe Biden, Walter Mondale and Albert Gore would go back to their highest former honorific … Dear Senator (Surname):
— Robert Hickey