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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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anything that's been done.

Q:

Well, then I think it would behave you and the collected friends of medical research to try and anticipate such appointments and try to get some friend in the office.

Lasker:

Well, you see, after all it was made a cabinet job only in '52. We had no influence whatever with Eisenhower. Mr. Kennedy I was for only after the Convention and I didn't know him well before the Convention, and he felt that the people who were for him only after the Convention, no matter how enthusiastically, didn't have any real leverage with him and with Sargent Shriver, who had a lot to do with the appointments.

Now, actually Ribicoff was one of the very early Kennedy supporters and could have more or less what he chose to have, and he must have chosen this job, but as of the Convention of 1960 there were at least four men that I knew fairly well who were all competing for the “nomination,” and the one I knew least well was Kennedy. So, I would have had to be a prophet to have done the right thing. There's no doubt that if I had been for him by some other set of circumstances, I could have had enormous influence in the appointment because he's not hostile to the area of research at all, nor is Sargent Shriver, who's extremely intelligent, and so is his wife, Kennedy's sister. So, it's just the way it fell.

The Senate hearings for fiscal appropriations for the National Institutes of Health were held in the spring of '61,



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