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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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No. Suitor is not really quite right. Some time after I got to Washington, in the fall of '37, and began working on the Washington Post, there arrived an influx of college friends of mine from Princeton who had been at various law schools, especially the Harvard Law School. Half my class graduating from Princeton in 1934 had gone into the Harvard Law School. I don't mean literally half, but an awful lot of them, including several very close friends from college, were now filtering back to Washington.

One of them who was a particularly close friend called me up one day after I'd been living in Washington for some time, some months, I don't know how long, and said, “Look, I'm coming back” next fall -- called up and said, “I'm coming back, going to be back here, going into a law firm, and I want to set up a house, a bachelor establishment, with you and three or four more guys who are coming in from Harvard Law School.”

And I said, “Well, okay, Bill” -- his name was William Sheldon, one of the most wonderful people, a very close friend at college, a marvelous guy who turned out to be a casualty of World War Two a few years later in the Navy. But I said, “Bill, okay. If you do all the work and set the house up and I don't have to do any recruiting or anything else, sure, I'll join you in that.”

And this was the beginning of a rather remarkable house full of very brilliant young lawyers, all of whom were lawyers except me. I was only in because I was a good friend of Bill. I was the first person I guess that he called when he got back to Washington. Several of them were working as clerks to justices of the Supreme Court, and others like Bill Sheldon were working for the leading law firm in Washington, Dean Acheson's law firm.

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