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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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to get something done in this area.

When the President's father had a stroke sometime later in '62--wasn't it?

Q:

It was in the early winter of '62, I think.

Lasker:

Early winter? Yes, early winter of '61. I realized that perhaps the President would realize through his frustration in trying to help his father how little was known about the treatment of stroke, which is due to arteriosclerosis but because of its location in the arteries of the brain or on the way to the brain it's very hard to treat.

I went to see him in July of '62 and urged him again to appoint a commission on stroke. He understood the need of it and he said, “How will we get this done?” And I said, “Well, let's talk to Mike Feldman.” Feldman was away and the matter dragged, and Feldman and Sorenson, as I believe I have said, thought that it was a bad idea because it was something connected with the President's family. The President had just appointed a panel on retardation because his family had a problem in this area and they thought it was a bad idea to have something else that represented a problem that the Kennedy family suffered from.

Q:

From a political point of view, was that the idea?

Lasker:

Well, I don't know, public relations--this was theirnotion. Actually, strokes are the third cause of death in the



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