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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Andrew HeiskellAndrew Heiskell
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Session:         Page of 824

of time looking over this rather sizable enterprise that spreads from the tip of the Bronx down through Manhattan to the tip of Staten Island. And has eighty three branches, and I visited a lot of the branches and I went through the stacks and I talked to people. And I looked at the finances and all in all it was a very sad picture, because during the crunch of the 1970s New York City came very close to bankruptcy and it cut back on everything. And seemingly it cut back even more so on the Library, because the library had very, at that time very little political clout. As a matter of fact, it probably would have gone broke, gone into bankruptcy. I'm never quite sure what a semi-private, semi-public institution does when it goes bankrupt. Well, it would had to have been taken over totally by the government. In fact, the branches were supported by the New York and the research end was mainly privately supported. If it hadn't been for the fact that Brook Astor stepped in, in I think it was 1977, with a gift of five million dollars which was a lot of money at that point, and when she did that the Rockefellers said, “If you're going to pour that much money in you better take a look at the management. Because we don't think that the management is very good.”


The connection of the Rockefellers-


Just because the Rockefellers are friends of Brook Astor's. And they, the Rockefellers had Bill Dietel who is head of Rockefeller Brothers Fund look into the situation. And indeed, there was practically no management. A man by the name of Dick Couper was

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