Vamps, Flappers, and Shieks: Films of The 1920s

The partners had agreed verbally from the outset that Benton would be free to leave with fair compensation when he chose, and in 1935 Benton began making arrangements to quit advertising. Newspapers seized the rags-to-riches story: Yale scholarship student reaches goal of earning a million dollars before his thirtieth birthday-and during the Depression. It is true that the eventual value of his stock made him a millionaire; but because his return was pegged to the firm's well-being, only if the agency continued to prosper would his total assets mount. Benton, in fact, was destined for some financially rocky periods before his wealth was assured.

Vamps, Flappers, and Shieks: Films of The 1920s - Media Resources Center, UC Berkeley

While, then, not sharply focused, this section is one of the richest of the William Benton Papers. There is extensive correspondence on national affairs and the media with Henry and Clare Boothe Luce, Harold Lasswell, Norman Cousins, members of the Sulzberger and LaFollette families, and DeWitt Wallace. Benton's study of governmental regulation of the economy is illustrated in correspondence with Cyrus Eaton, Bruce Gould, and John Kenneth Galbraith. International relations are the primary subject of letters to and from Geoffrey Crowther, David Hardman, and Harlan Cleveland. Files relating to many organizations (such as the ACLU, NAACP, and Council on Foreign Relations) and institutions (Columbia University and Connecticut College) are located in this section. Letters to Laird K. Bell, Edward Levi, Robert Hutchins, William McCormick Blair, and Gaylord Donnelley attest to Benton's ongoing ties to the University of Chicago. The Leigh Dannenberg correspondence holds a wealth of information on Connecticut politics. The CED story is told in the Hoffman, Clarence Francis, Marion Folson, and Jay Hormel files. Most of the key figures in Benton's other major commitments-UNESCO, State Department, Britannica, higher education, politics-are represented in the general correspondence. Finally, this section preserves a large body of letters and memoranda on Benton's life, career, and accomplishments filed under names of Benton staff members: John Howe, Anne Cronin, Kay Hart, Catherine Flynn, Bertha Tallman.


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"His father, Socrates, was one of the richest citizens of Smyrna, which in those days was one of the richest cities of the eastern Mediterranean." (1) Socrates was the second child, but first son, born in 1878. By the time Aristotle was born in 1906 he was a wealthy young man of 28; his life indeed was a "rags to riches" story. He married in 1904 and Aristotle was born two years later.