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Mrs. Lasker, you wanted to introduce today a new chapter in your story, which is the
relationships you've had with people in political life and, I suppose, largely in
Well, until the winter of 1939 I was singularly uninformed and disinterested in
politics. I knew nothing more than what I had been taught at the University of
Wisconsin in a very elementary course in American history and government, and I knew
nothing whatever about the workings of practical politics.
Did you know Dr. Ogg, there, a political science professor?
No. I wasn't a sufficiently advanced student, I fear.
I spent my life after I got out of college, as you know, being an art dealer and then
selling patterns and other things to chain stores, and had other jobs to make money.
Until I met Albert Lasker, I really had no great curiosity about the political field.
However, I did have a friend whose name was Frank Altschul, who was a banker and a
strong Republican, and he was rather generous to Republican campaigns. And one night
late in the winter of '39 I heard a radio debate quite by chance between a man called
Wendell Willkie and Hugo L. Black. Willkie defended the side of the utilities in the
then argument or issues about public utilities so effectively and with so much spirit
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