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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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found. He was obviously interested in the job of New York State Commissioner or in being in charge of research for New York State.

Mike and Dr. Tomkins met with him the following afternoon. We all agreed that he would make an excellent commissioner because of his great interest in research. We decided that we would recommend him to Harriman. Within a few days, I sent Dr. Hoch to see George Backer, who was in charge of making recommendations for Harriman to fill important jobs. Backer, too, liked him, and on January 9th I went with George and Dr. Hoch to dinner with Governor Harriman at the Executive Mansion in Albany in an effort to get Governor Harriman to commit himself to the appointment of Hoch. We thought this was very urgent because Bigelow had been totally against research and was entirely an old-line routine state mental hospital administrator and totally without any progressive ideas. So, we were very eager to get somebody good in the state which had the largest number of state mental hospitals in the nation and in the world probably.

Q:

And the largest potential of...

Lasker:

Of doing good, yes.

After Hoch left that evening, when Harriman was alone with George Backer and me, Harriman did promise to appoint him. Since then there were some legal problems brought up by the requirements of the job which Dewey had passed through the legislature the year before, and Harriman had to



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