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Today is Friday the thirteenth of March, 1987. This is 870 U.N.
Plaza. This is Jessica Holland. Would you state and spell your-and
it's for the Columbia University Oral History Collection. Would you
state and spell your full name?
Andrew Heiskell. H-E-I-S-K-E-L-L.
We're going to talk about the New York Public Library today. Why
don't you just begin with how you got involved?
One day a fellow by the name of John Sargent, a large,
portly gentleman with a beard and an en bon point called me and said
that he would very much like me to meet a friend of his, Richard
Salomon who was chairman of the New York Public Library. And I said,
“John, that shouldn't be too difficult. A: I know Mr. Salomon, and
B: He lives on the floor above me. So all we have to do is move one
floor.” So I met with Dick and he made me a proposition that I
should go on the board, this was, I think about 1978, on the board of
the New York Public Library, with the thought that if it interested
me I would succeed him as chairman. And if it didn't interest me, I
could just quietly withdraw. So I joined the board and spent a lot
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