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Notable New     Yorkers
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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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real attention. He really didn't pay attention to it seriously, although he always worried about it--he and his sisters had given $50,000 to the American Cancer Society in the ‘30s and stipulated that the interest on this money should be used for publishing educational pamphlets about cancer. His brother had died of cancer and they were interested, but he had never thought in terms of doing anything dynamic about it. And it was really only after we had gotten the first campaign off the ground and it was successful that he became interested. After that, he was very interested and went on the Board of the Cancer Society and really he and a few other men fought to make it a voluntary organization, half laymen and half doctors, so that it could be a real community effort. And he was the one who sold the Cancer Society, which was then becoming successful, on the idea of supporting the need for Federal funds.

Q:

This must have made you very happy indeed.

Lasker:

Oh, this made me very happy. The minute he was involved in it I was delighted and I felt a great sense of satisfaction about it.

Well, at the same time we were working for this--in June of ‘46 we were working on the 100-million-dollar cancer research bill--I suggested to Dr. Stevenson of the National Committee for Mental Hygiene that he should employ a lobbyist in the thought that we could maybe get a bill for a National Mental Health



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