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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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said to Frank Altschul the next day that Wendell Willkie was the most effective advocate of a cause that I had ever heard and that he would really make a marvelous politician and urged him to meet him. My urging was so strongthat he actually did get someone to introduce him to him, and Altschul in turn introduced him to Will Hayes, who was then the Republican National Committeeman, and to Will Erwin, who was a banker from Indiana but at the same time the Republican National Committeeman from Indiana. And these were actually the first two political contacts, as far as I know, that Wendell Willkie ever had. He was totally in the field of public utilities as a lawyer and thinking not at all about running for office. This was early in the winter of '39 actually.

My interest in Willkie as a personality continued while he was in the press as a crusader for the public utilities. He wasn't talked about as a candidate at allfor any office; he was just a very vocal critic of the Democratic Administration and of Roosevelt.


And very personable.


And very personable.

In the meantime, I met him, and on the night of June 21, 1939 Kay Swift, one of my great friends, and I gave a party on the roof of my terrace at 400 East 52nd Street and we invited Wendell Willkie and about 120 other people, including Albert Lasker, Frank Altschul and Walter Mack and Kenneth Simpson. Now,

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