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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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The one good thing that Blaisdell did for us was to get hold of Pat Suppes. Pat Suppes was the head of the mathematics department at Stanford and a genuine live wire. Houghton Mifflin almost had him signed up for his new sets and numbers arithmetic series; but Blaisdell pulled him out of that at the last moment and we got him. Pat Suppes is one of the big reasons that RCA became interested in Random House because Suppes, with his revolutionary ideas for computers and whatnot, was being wooed by IBM and by Control Data. He is now the head of a great big laboratory out in Palo Alto, owned by RCA. Singer, too, I must say, was another of our Random House divisions that intrigued RCA in particular.


How did this thing go on with Blaisdell, just to continue the story?


The Blaisdell balance sheet began looking worse and worse. The market at that time for publishing stocks was plummeting. (I haven't gone into our whole stock issue yet.) We finally managed to sell the Blaisdell business to Ginn and Co. I've often said that the happiest two days of my life were the day that I got Blaisdell and the day that I got rid of him.

He's gone up to Ginn and he's been swallowed up up there. I don't know what's happened to him now, but for awhile he sure was a great big big-shot. I guess he's just an editor again. As I say, he's a damned good one. We gave him too much leeway. It was my fault. I was too anxious to get him.

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