Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Frank StantonFrank Stanton
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 755

with Ike -- or, the President -- I said to him, “Doesn't this fall right in the path of the Secretary and the President?” He said, “Yes, but I want my man close to me.” So, I said, “Well, he'd have to work closely with the Secretary of State.” He said, “Oh, absolutely.” I said, “Could I go see Secretary [John Foster] Dulles?” He said, “Yes. I'll call him.” He picked up the phone, he called him over in the office and wanted me to see him. So, I went over to the State Department. At that time the State Department was right next to the White House. I saw Dulles, a very imposing man, a man I had never met. I knew his brother. He got out of his chair and he said, “Stanton, I don't want you to take the job.” More than that, he wanted me to promise I wouldn't take the job. I said why? He said, “I don't want anybody between me and the President.” I said, “I understand that, it's a question I asked the President. So, I have no trouble with that, and I have no trouble with promising I won't take the job, because I'm not qualified for the job.” He was nice enough not to say anything about that, and I went over then to see the man who had the job, who was going back to, was the publisher of Life. C. D. Jackson was his name. I went over to see C. D. (I knew him), and he said, “I thought you'd be coming to see me.” I said, “Yes, but this is crazy. You don't let amateurs fool around in this field.” He said, “Well, what do you think I knew about it? I was the publisher of Life Magazine.” He had been in psychological warfare in North Africa, but he said, “I didn't know anything about the job, and I think you know as much about it as I did. I'll give you all the help you need, etc.” I told him I felt it was out of the question.

I came back and talked to Paley, Paley thought I should take it. Paley thought that it would be a good experience, etc., as well it might have been if I had known what the hell I was doing. I sent Ike a telegram and declined, but it was true that in that short interval we matched up pretty well in terms of understanding how we could have worked together.

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help