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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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February 11, 1963 - Interview No. 12


Mrs. Lasker, it's good to be back with you again today and to have you resume your very exciting story about the battle to secure adequate appropriations to implement the Institutes of Health.


Thank you, Mr. Mason.

Well, the battle continued and late in '54 Mrs. Hobby, the new Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, appeared on “Meet the Press,” the television program. I was anxious to get her to commit herself on this program on the importance of the research programs of the National Institutes of Health and spoke to Larry Spivak about this. I said to him, “Won't you ask Mrs. Hobby about why she didn't provide more funds for research in heart diseases and cancer since they're the main causes of death?” He said he didn't know whether he could do this in the time allotted for all the subjects that had to be taken up; however, he was sympathetic and said he would try to do something on the Sunday program.

Miss McDonough and I were primed to listen carefully, and Miss McDonough took down what was said. On the following pages is a transcript of the conversation between Mrs. Hobby and Spivak. The essence of it was that Mrs. Hobby said that she got her advice from the Councils of the National Institutes of Health and that's how the funds that were requested were asked for from the Congress.

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