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 (36,479 Bytes)
1956-06-22 (June 22, 1956)
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.
From Bench to Bedside: Mary Lasker and the Drive for "Payoff" from Medical Research
Like you, I certainly hope that the Senate figures on medical research will be upheld. However, it would probably be resented
if I were to interfere outside of my proper sphere and suggest to the members of the House what line of conduct they should
The Senate Appropriations Committee is composed of some of the most experienced and respected members of the Senate. I know
they will conduct themselves skillfully and ably and I have high hopes for a final outcome that will meet the objective both
you and I hold in common.