Lasker developed a close political relationship with President Johnson, who credited modern medical science with saving his
life after he suffered a heart attack in 1958. Lasker had Johnson and his wife Lady Bird Johnson for lunch at her New York
townhouse, spent a night at the White House, and met with Johnson several times to discuss health matters, all in the first
two months of his presidency. Johnson was moved to add medical research and health care delivery initiatives to his Great
Society programs by "the insistence of that lovely Lady, Mrs. Mary Lasker" and the "grim facts" about the
continuing toll of disease she presented to him.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (31,078 Bytes)
1958-11-09 (November 9, 1958)
Johnson, Lyndon B.
United States Senate
Original Repository: Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Mary Lasker Papers
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
From Bench to Bedside: Mary Lasker and the Drive for "Payoff" from Medical Research
I am very grateful for your warm appraisal of my speech before the Washington Heart Association. I had hoped that it would
be possible for me to put across the message which would mean something to the group that was gathered together and that might
be helpful in spurring interest in this important subject.
But the point still remains that of all the people to whom those of us who have had
heart attacks should be grateful, the number one is Mary Lasker.