Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Mary LaskerMary Lasker
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 1143


What sort of work did you actually do?


Well, I tried to raise money. Kenneth Rose was the paid Director of the Federation, and while he had patience, he was not a first-class organizer for a cause as difficult as this one.

It taught me several things, however, that were useful to me when I started to press for a real campaign in the field of cancer. I realized how difficult it was to work with volunteers and what some of the elements were you needed to have before you could get anything going.


What did you find particularly difficult with volunteers?


They don't have to keep their appointments. They don't have to have any specific skills; you can't fire them. You can't direct them, and you can't be sure that they'll do what you say they should.

Albert tried very hard to help me and made an offer of $25,000 a year for three years to the Federation, and also perduaded the Rosenwald family to contribute an additional $25,000 a year for two years. These were substantial contributions for the Federation at this time.

I worked very hard to interest the press and radio in the field but met with no great success, even though Albert had many friends in this area.


Was there on the part of Mr. Lasker, or did he work through you to see that this money was adequately used?

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help