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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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December 11, 1962 - Interview No. 7


Mrs. Lasker, when you broke off last time I raised a question which I'll bring up at this point. Several times you referred to the fact that various doctors in the Public Health Service, people in the American Cancer Society and others, considered it veritable madness to ask for appropriations for medical research--appropriations such as the one for cancer, 100 million dollars--and they considered sums such as this so stupendous that it was virtually impossible. However, it was entirely a part of your vision, and this interests me very much. It seemed to be so natural for you to think in these huge sums, whereas the se other people were stymied by the very thought. Do you want to comment on that?


Well, Mr. Mason, I think that I was encouraged to think in large sums because of my husband, because of his experience in government, since he was the head of the Shipping Board in the early '20s, which was then the agency that had the largest amounts of assets, which were subsequently liguidiated. Also, in his business he wouldn't speak to anyone who wanted to spend less than a million dollars to advertise his product and he felt 15 million dollars to advertise tobacco in a year wasn't too much at that time. He would be horrified if he knew that smoking had something to do with lung cancer or any other kind of cancer, which was really only made certain

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