Previous | Next
4748495051525354555657585960616263646566676869707172737475767778798081828384858687888990919293949596979899100101 of 755
had them, but nobody else. So they got me a beat up old Plymouth that was five or six years
old at the time. And I drove out to Manhassett. And sat at lunch with Paley and the guests
who were there -- the house was full of friends from Long Island, social friends, nobody else
from CBS --
At this point, what were you thinking that this meeting was for? Did you have a hunch?
I had no idea. All I knew was Kesten wasn't going to be there and I was thoroughly
puzzled. Paul didn't know what it was about. I later think that he had a pretty good idea
what it as about, but it would have been unfair, I guess, for him to have told me, because it
might not have turned out to be that. But White and Ream weren't there, and nobody else
was there from CBS. And it was raining cats and dogs.
Just after coffee, Paley leaned back in his chair, and said, “Gee, I feel like a walk. Does
anybody feel like getting some fresh air?” I looked out the window and it was pouring. I
thought if there was ever a cue, I guess this was it. So I said, “Yes, I would enjoy a little
walk.” So he said, “Come on, let's go down to the pool.” And at the pool there was a large
umbrella. Rain was pelting down on the umbrella. It was very few introductory words of
conversation he said, “I'd like you to take over the company. And I want you to be president.
And I'll be chairman.” Now, I was so naive that I said, “Well, what does the chairman do?
And what does the president do?”
That's a good question.
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help