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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

office the first day he was receiving in it.

Q:

Did he have a particular interest in modern art?

Lasker:

Yes, his wife is a painter and very interested and very cultivated.

I remember Bill Wirtz, Stevenson's partner, was there, and he was suddenly the Assistant Secretary of Labor, which struck me as being very distinguished considering that I had never thought of him as being at all ambitious politically, but just a charming and very studious man.

Q:

Was it the Stevenson connection that produced this?

Lasker:

Probably, but he had been a labor negotiator in the Middlewest and, evidently, I hadn't understood how important he was.

Q:

And this is where Goldberg had known of his work.

Lasker:

No, I think it was through Shriver and Bill Blair. Probably Wirtz knew Shriver well, and Shriver, at this time, was making the appointments in such jobs as Kennedy had not decided on himself. Shriver had enormous influence; all appointments were taken up with him. I took up numerous things that I wanted people to be appointed to, including that I thought it would be a good idea for him to be the Secretary of HEW.



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