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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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evidently been resting, because he had a bad back as you know, and I said to him that I thought that the ideas of the present board of the Cultural Center were grandiose for the kind of people that were on the board, that we could never raise the money, and that I wasn't sure that a 70-million-dollar building could ever be filled in Washington, and that they didn't seem to have any adequate survey of how many people would go to such a center or could even afford to go to it. I said that I felt it would be terrible if we were involved in something that didn't succeed, that whatever he was involved in must succeed. He said, “What would you do?” I said, “Well, I'd get Maxwell Taylor, who's been working for the Lincoln Center and who's now come down to be your adviser in the White House, to survey the situation. Get Bob Dowling and Roger Stevens to make a survey of the actual needs and how big an audience could be attracted to a center.”


This had not been done previously?


As far as I could make out, no.

Well, he said, “Fine. I hate to put a job like this on Taylor, but I'll do something along these lines.” Then I said to him, “Won't you please see Hill? Hill wants to get your agreement about adding to the budget of the National Institutes of Health.” And he said, “How much?” and I said, “Well, he wants to add 50 million dollars.” He said, “Well, I'll talk to him.” I said, “Shall I have him call you?” and he said, “No, I'll call him.”

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