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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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work for the rest of his life. We bought back his stock. Donald's stepson, Tony Wimpfheimer, got some of the stock; but Don and I kept almost complete control.


What did you pay for it at that point?


I don't remember.

To all intents and purposes, Don and I owned the entire business. One of the things that we were worried about was-- what was going to happen to the survivor. In a private business the inheritance tax situation is often very difficult. The government can come in and evaluate your business if you haven't got some kind of stock on the market that will establish that price. You have to wait for the government to evaluate that business, and heaven knows what price they may put on it. We had always put virtually everything that we had made back into this business and took very low salaries right from the start. Years after we started we were still taking less than some of our editors and salesmen were making because we were happy to put all of the money back into a business that we loved and that was growing. Random House is really ours and we were doing everything--all of the publishing, selling, advertising, publicity. Oh, those were the great days. That's when I knew Random House inside out. Nobody could tell me anything that was going on at Random House.

Those days are over. You start getting bigger and you sacrifice many of these joys. I question sometimes the value

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