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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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United States, and it would have been an extremely good idea. People understand that you do something when you understand that something that is happening to you is widespread and that something should be done about it. At any rate, it didn't get done.

We persisted and had a meeting with them in December of '62, and again they said something about, “Well, wouldn't it be a good idea to have not just a stroke commission but to make it also for cancer?” and I said, “Yes, why not cancer, heart disease and stroke.” They thought that was a rather good idea.

Well, I thought they were going to do something about it, but, as I've said, Sorenson really wasn't very concerned with health problems--he was very young and had many other preoccupations--and nothing happened.

I went again to see President Kennedy in July of '63, and made this suggestion to him, and he said, “Well, I certainly agree with you. Let's do it. Just tell Mike Feldman I want to get it done and to speak to me.” We went on to have other conversation, on Greek sculptures, as I think I've said.

I did talk to Mike, and this time Mike talked to the President, and the President evidently enthused him to really get moving. Feldman talked about doing something before I went to Europe. I went to Europe about the end of July, but he wasn't ready; he had many other jobs that he was doing, and he thought about doing it while I was gone in Europe. But then he thought no, I'd better check the names, and so he waited until I came back

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