The Emerson Foote Page

Emerson Foote was one of the founders of Foote, Cone & Belding (now True North Communications) when Albert Lasker dissolved his Lord & Thomas advertising firm. Between 1923 and 1931, Foote "...Move to job with Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co. Took a course in Research and at 26 held the unpaid job of secretary of the Western Statistical Association. 1933 - At age of 27, and out of job because of the depression, he entered the advertising business with Leon Livingston Advertising Agency in San Francisco, working as a copy-writer and researcher. 1935 - Opened own Agency with partner - Yeomans & Foote. A year later, sold out and went to New York. 1936 - Joined New York office of J. Sterling Getchell. Became manager of the Research Department and a V.P. 1938 - Joined the Lord & Thomas Agency, as print advertising Account Executive on American Tobacco account... Began association with the American Cancer Society in 1944 as Chairman of their Public Relations Committee," and was Director and Vice Chairman of ACS from 1944-1952; was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Arthritis & Rheumatism Foundation, another Lasker entity; and a founding director of the American Heart Association. In 1948, when he resigned from FCB's American Tobacco Co. account for "policy differences," he employed the Laskers' OSS/CIA crony William J. Donovan "as a special counsel charged with protecting the agency's reputation and good name." Foote was later on the list of proposed membership of the 1973 NCI-NHLI Ad Hoc Committee on Smoking and Health. (Report on Emerson Foote. Tobacco Institute Memorandum, 1965.) Foote died in 1992 after an operation for appendicitis.(Emerson Foote, 85, Who Headed Large Advertising Agencies, Dies. By Wolfgang Saxon. New York Times, July 8, 1992.)

Report on Emerson Foote / UCSF (pdf, 8 pp)

In 1946, Foote was chairman of the Advertising & Public Relations fund raising committee of the New York Heart Association. Sponsors included W. Averell Harriman; Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, Sr.; Mrs. Albert D. Lasker; James S. Adams; Harold L. Bache, the nephew of Jules S. Bache; Leona Baumgartner; Devereux C. Josephs; Ralph T. Reed; Frank Stanton; and Thomas J. Watson Sr. Hugh Cullman was chairman of the Tobacco Industry committee. (Display Ad 46. New York Times, Jan. 31, 1946 p. 12.) Harriman and Watson were directors of the Guaranty Trust Company.

"Emerson Foote has engaged Gen. Wild Bill Donovan to break up the whisper campaign in radio circles. . . ." (Little Old New York By Ed Sullivan. Uniontown, Penn., Morning Herald, Apr. 13. 1948.)

Foote joined McCann-Erickson (later reorganized as a subsidiary of the Interpublic Group of Companies) from 1951 until 1957, and returned in 1958. "In 1958-'61, Mr. Foote, then senior VP of McCann, virtually commuted between Chicago and New York on various fire-fighting expeditions." Encyclopedia Britannica was one of their major accounts. "This situation, it was learned, dated back to the late 1950s, when Peter G. (Pete) Peterson resigned the management to join Bell & Howell (he is now President.)" (Advertising Age, March 2, 1964). Foote resigned as Chairman of McCann-Erickson in September 1964, asserting that he would have nothing to do with any agency handling or seeking to handle cigarette advertising. [Peterson later married Joan Ganz Cooney, founder of the Childen's Television Workshop. CBS President Frank Stanton was a director of Interpublic from 1976 to 1995; Newton Minow was a director from 1980 to 1997; and former Philip Morris CEO Michael A. Miles has been a director since 2000.]

Advertising Age, Mar. 2, 1964 / UCSF (pdf, 2 pp)
Brainwashing the Children (Peter G. Peterson)
The Newton Minow Page

Members of the 1964 President's Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke included Florence Mahoney and other prominent Lasker associates (Dr. R. Lee Clark, Emerson Foote, Dr. Sidney Farber, Mrs. Harry Truman, Gen. David Sarnoff, Dr. Irving S. Wright) to the panel, chaired by Dr. Michael DeBakey. Dr. Maureen Henderson was on the staff, and Abraham Lilienfeld was the staff director. Foote locked horns with a fellow member, General David Sarnoff, when Sarnoff refused to sign portions of the report that Foote drafted, which proclaimed that "cigarettes cause death," and called for smoking and cigarette advertising to be outlawed. The Commission promoted the legislation for the Regional Medical Programs, where the Office on Smoking and Health was first established.

President's Commission, 1964 / UCSF (pdf, 1 p)

Emerson Foote was chairman of the National Interagency Council on Smoking and Health, which included the American Heart Association, American Public Health Association, and National Tuberculosis Association (predecessor of the American Lung Association) as well as the American Cancer Society. (Smoking and Health Newsletter, 1965 Jul-Aug;1(1). National Interagency Council on Smoking and Health, 8600 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland [the address of the building built in 1962 to house the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health].)

Smoking and Health Newsletter, 1965 / UCSF (pdf, 8 pp)

Foote was a member of the National Panel of Consultants on the Conquest of Cancer (Yarborough Committee) in 1971.

The National Cancer Act of 1971

Foote was on the list of proposed membership of the 1973 NCI-NHLI Ad Hoc Committee on Smoking and Health. Other proposed members included Mary Lasker; Gio Gori; Daniel Horn of the National Clearinghouse for Smoking and Health; Laurance Rockefeller; venture capitalist Benno Schmidt; former Surgeon General Luther Terry; and Ernst L. Wynder of the American Health Foundation.

Proposed membership, Ad Hoc Committee on Smoking and Health, 1973 / UCSF (pdf, 2 pp)
Minutes, Ad Hoc Committee on Smoking and Health, June 17, 1973 / UCSF (pdf, 8 pp)

National Officers of the American Cancer Society, 1974- Mrs. Albert D. Lasker, Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors; R. Lee Clark of MD Anderson. Honorary Life Members - Elmer H. Bobst; Emerson Foote; Mrs. Anna Rosenberg Hoffman; Alton Ochsner; Ann Landers. Council for Research and Clinical Investigation Awards - Joseph L. Melnick (longtime supporter of ASH who helped conceal the role of CMV in heart disease); Henry C. Pitot (who redeemed himself with his paper stating that HPV was "sufficient" to cause cancer). Council for Analysis and Projection - Frank J. Rauscher Jr. of the NCI. Advisory Committee on Institutional Research Grants: Roswell K. Boutwell of the Council for Tobacco Research. Advisory Committee on Personnel for Research - Lasker Foundation Director Purnell W. Choppin and CTR member Wolfgang Joklik. Advisory Committee on Virology and Cell Biology - CTR member Peter K. Vogt. Advisory Committee on Nucleic Acids - Washington Advisory Group principal C. Thomas Caskey.

American Cancer Society audit report, 1974 / UCSF (pdf, 9 pp)
ACS Annual Report, 1976 / UCSF (pdf, 36 pp)

Emerson Foote contributed an article, "The Time Has Come: Cigarette Advertising Must Be Banned," to the National Institute of Drug Abuse Monograph 17, "Research on Smoking Behavior," 1977. Editors included militant anti-smokers Murray E. Jarvik, Joseph W. Cullen, and Ellen R. Gritz; Florence Mahoney's crony, Avram Goldstein, was on the Editorial Advisory Board, and Ernst L. Wynder of the American Health Foundation also contributed.

NIDA Monograph 17 / National Institute of Drug Abuse (pdf, 397pp)

Foote was co-chairman of the Citizens' Committee for the Conquest of Cancer with Solomon Garb. It was co-founded by Mary Lasker's crony, Sidney Farber. Sponsoring members included William McC. Blair Jr., Mrs. William McC. Blair Jr., now vice president of the Lasker Foundation; Elmer H. Bobst; R. Lee Clark; Mrs. Alice Fordyce, Mary's sister; James W. Fordyce, Mary's nephew; Mary's old friend, Leonard Goldenson of ABC-TV; Mrs. Paul G. Hoffman, aka Anna Rosenberg; Robert W. Holley of the Salk Institute; Mathilde Krim; Hollywood producer Norman Lear; William Regelson, founder of FIBER, on whose board Mary later served; and Bernard J. Reis, Treasurer of the Lasker Foundation. Garb sent a bullying letter to Curtis H. Judge, President of Lorillard Inc., demanding that "the tobacco industry" lobby for "higher total appropriations to NCI" and that "the Tobacco Research Institute [sic] should allocate substantial sums to finding anticancer drugs in plants." (Garb to Judge, Sep. 20, 1978.)

Citizens' Committee for the Conquest of Cancer, 1978 / UCSF (pdf, 4 pp)

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cast 03-15-08