The Distinguished Americans series is a set of definitive stamps issued by the United States Postal Service which was started in 2000 with a 10¢ stamp depicting Joseph Stilwell. The designs of the first nine issues are reminiscent of the earlier Great Americans series, but less austere. The first nine issues were done with black lines on a white background, but in 2008, with the James A. Michener issue (#10), the USPS added color toning. Like the Great Americans series, the first twelve issues measured 0.84 inches by 0.99 inches overall, and were all designed by Mark Summers of Waterdown, Ontario. In 2011, with the Oveta Culp Hobby stamp, the series went to a larger format with full color images, and colored backgrounds.
The 2004 Rudolph stamp is the only one in the series to have been issued in both a sheet (pane) and booklet format. Although both the 2001 Caraway issue and the 2002–2003 Ferber issues have perforation differences.