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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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about, I believe, 3,200 chapters, and those 3,200 chapters are spread across the country and effectively cover the whole population. In, I guess, World War II, I got involved in fund- raising on a national basis for the domestic Red Cross organization, because the Red Cross had to furnish services to the armed forces, and of course it took a lot of money. The media played a role in that, and I was chairman, I guess, of one of the--if not the single--national committee on the media part during that period.

That was my first topside connection with the Red Cross. When I was a kid in Dayton, Ohio, I participated at the junior level in fund-raising and things of that kind, but I didn't get involved in disaster relief or anything of that kind. And my experience in World War II was much more lining up the media to support the effort; it wasn't in doing any of the program.

I hadn't touched the Red Cross in any way until about a year or two before I retired from CBS, [E.] Roland Harriman, the brother of [W.] Averill Harriman, came to see me. He was the then-chairman of what they called the American Red Cross. He came to see me and said: “I know you're retiring, and I've got a job for you.” [Laughs]

I said that I had plenty to do--why? What did he have in mind? Not realizing that what he was talking about was my being brought on to be his successor. I said I didn't know enough about what he did or what was involved to do it, but if he wanted me to consider, why not put me on the board and let me see close up what they're doing. And when I'm ready to retire, if he still wants me to take his place, I'll listen.

I didn't even know that that was a presidential appointment at that time. He told me that he would have a lot to say about a successor, and he was a strong Republican. [Richard M.]

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