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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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National Science Foundation bill, we decided that we'd have to go about getting medical research in some other way.

In March of ‘46 I was in, California and I heard that Congresman Neely's bill for a hundred million dollars for cancer research was to have hearings in the House. These were to be held by Representative Bloom from New York.

Q:

Sol Bloom?

Lasker:

Yes, I also heard that introduced his own bill under his own name in the Senate. This interested us very much because we had interested him in medical research to begin with.

Not knowing as much then as I know now about the difficulties of getting legislation passed I was convinced that this bill had some chance to pass, and I convinced my husband that the American Cancer Society should testify in favor of it.

In ‘46 the American Cancer Society had raised a bout 10 million dollars, of which about 2 1/2 million dollars was for research, and the idea to testify for a 100-million-dollar bill was considered a phantasy, absolute madness, and what's more, they felt the government was competing with them and that they shouldn't do anything about it; they should ignore it or else be against it. Many people in the Cancer Society were Republicans and the whole thing was considered mad.



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