The Anna Rosenberg Hoffman Page

Hoffman, Anna Rosenberg, 1902-1983 Papers / Harvard University

Two conflicting bios of Anna Rosenberg from the same website.

Rosenberg bio by Brody / American Israeli Cooperative Enterprise
Rosenberg bio from Jewish Women's Archive / American Israeli Cooperative Enterprise

Social Security Administration

From her official Social Security bio: "Anna Rosenberg was the first woman to serve as a Regional Representative (aka, Regional Commissioner) for Social Security. She served as Regional Rep for Region II (New York) from February 1936 until September 1942, when she left to join the War Manpower Commission as its Regional Director, a position she held until the end of the War."

Picture and bio of Anna Rosenberg / Social Security Administration

Anna Rosenberg and the Laskers

From "Taken at the Flood. The Story of Albert D. Lasker," by John Gunther. Harper and Brothers, 1960.) "About 1940 Albert and Mary became permanently enriched by a new and sparkling friendship, when Anna Rosenberg enteed their lives. She became equally close to them both. The circumstances of one of Albert's first meetings with her were exceptional. He and Mary had met her once before, but only casually, and then one day they had lunch. She was ill, and was leaving that afternoon for a check-up in the Mayo Clinic. For some reason her effect on Lasker now became galvanic. He went through a procedure fantastic even for him. He acted as if he had known her all his life, and, moreover, was responsible for her. Exaggerating greatly the degree of her illness, he made elaborate arrangements for her when she arrived in Chicago the next morning, en route to Minnesota, without telling her. One can easily imagine Mrs. Rosenberg's stunned astonishment when, on getting off the Century in Chicago, she was met by a nurse, an attendant with a wheelchair, and, in person, the Commissioner of Health of the City of Chicago, Dr. Herman Bundeson. She was picked up bodily, placed firmly in the chair, and wheeled off. Nobody paid the slightest attention to her frantic protests, except to explain that this procedure had been ordered by Mr. Lasker. Whisked off to Dr. Bundeson's home, she was put to bed there until it was time for her to catch the train to the Mayos. From that day on, she never underestimated Albert Lasker.

"Anna Rosenberg, whose maiden name was Lederer, was born in Budapest, and came to the United States at an early age... After a remarkable career she became one of the foremost public relations counselors in the country, specializing in labor problems and settling strikes. She worked widely as a consultant in labor disputes for Studebaker and other corporations; also she represented Marshall Field, the Rockefeller Brothers, Macy's, and John Hay ("Jock") Whitney. Both sides, labor and capital, liked and trusted her. For years she did government work as well - on the NRA, the Social Security Board, and the office of Defense, Health and Welfare Services - and was the personal representative of President Roosevelt in Europe in 1944 to report on the problems of returning G.I.'s. Later she served Mr. Truman in the same capacity. She was also head of the War Manpower Commission for the New York area. She became increasingly close to Roosevelt in his last days, and close to Eisenhower as well (it was she who arranged his speech to the CIO in Atlantic City in 1946, one of his first semipolitical appearances); above all she worked intimately with General Marshall and General Walter Bedell Smith, Eisenhower's wartime Chief of Staff and later head of the Central Intelligence Agency. In time, she became Assistant Secretary of Defense in charge of manpower, the first woman in history to hold such a post in the American military establishment.

"Albert, Mary, and Mrs. Rosenberg saw one another constantly, and became devoted. She testifies that Lasker had a more profound influence on her than any man she ever met, even including Marshall and F.D.R. (Footnote 1) Often the Laskers and Anna took holidays together, which produced complicated hilarities. Sometimes Mary and Anna would try to slip away by themselves; Albert, a possessive creature, always managed to follow them..." (pages 289-290).

In 1963, she married Albert Lasker's old friend, Paul Gray Hoffman.

The Office of Scientific Research and Development / National Science Foundation

"Dr. [Vannevar] Bush's wartime organization, the Office of Scientific Research and Development, which was attached directly to the presidency, contained a small unit devoted to medical research. Mary discovered that this, along with the parent organization, would be dissolved with the end of the war. It was purely a wartime agency. But, obviously, the end of the war was now in sight, and she was horrified that this good beginning, even though it was small, would be lost. She talked to Anna Rosenberg, who said, 'Give me a memorandum, and I will take it to F.D.R.' ... Roosevelt turned the matter over to Judge Rosenman, who promptly wrote a letter in F.D.R.'s name to Dr. Bush, directing him to make a report. As a result, Bush prepared a document, Science, the Endless Frontier, which explored the whole subject and put on the table frankly the principal long-term issue, namely what the future relationship between government, science, and medical research was going to be" (page 318). Through their friends Florence and Dan Mahoney, then publisher of the Miami News, the Laskers induced Sen. Claude Pepper to introduce a bill to create a National Medical Research Foundation, while Sens. Warren Magnuson of Washington and Harley M. Kilgore of West Virginia introduced a bill to set up the National Science Foundation.

William T. Golden

William T. Golden advised President Truman on scientific research and development in the early 1950s. In official histories, he is the one who gets the credit. He was Treasurer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from 1969 to 1999, and the AAAS has a database of his memoranda, including a "Conversation with Dr. Cornelius P. Rhoads, Director, Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, and director, Memorial Hospital," Nov. 3, 1950: "He told me that he has been invited to lunch by Fred Lawton, Director of the Bureau of the Budget on November 10. He said he does not know why he has been so invited, but thinks that Mrs. Lasker may have arranged it."

Conversation with Rhoads / AAAS

Assistant Secretary of Defense

(From "Taken at the Flood. The Story of Albert D. Lasker," by John Gunther. Harper and Brothers, 1960.) "Late in 1950 Anna M. Rosenberg, as has already been mentioned, became Assistant Secretary of Defense, the first woman ever to hold this post. The appointment was made on the suggestion of General Marshall, who was Secretary of Defense; Mr. Truman welcomed it warmly, and so did Robert Lovett, the Deputy Secretary... The appointment was announced on November 15, and Mrs. Rosenberg at once moved to Washington and plunged into work. On November 29, after a hearing which lasted only an hour and a half, the Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously approved her. Then came an episode totally unexpected - and fantastic. Several persons came forward to accuse her of having been a Communist years before. On December 5, as a result, the committee voted to withdraw its approval, pending investigation of the charges, and hearings were held, under the chairmanship of Senator Richard B. Russell of Georgia, which lasted for ten tumultuous days." [The author then rants about "extremist reactionaries and crackpots;" and "Guilt by association; reckless innuendo; charges advanced indiscriminately and never proved... professional Red hunters, ex-Communist riffraff," etc. -cast]

"When, early in December, the affair burst open, Albert Lasker could scarcely contain his wrath and indignation. Not for years had anything upset him so much. He was outraged not merely because he was devoted to Anna, but because, to his mind, this was an open-and-shut case of injustice - of evil trying to wreck good... For some days Lasker scarcely ate or slept; he was a man possessed. He telephoned people in various parts of the country, consulted friends, and got prominent citizens to send telegrams of protest to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He told one acquaintance: 'I have a substantial amount of money left. I am propared to spend it all, every cent, to see that justice is done in this case.' He meant it. Nor was he by any means alone in his efforts to give Mrs. Rosenberg aid. Dozens of leading citizens spontaneously [sic] came forward with testimonials on her behalf. Columnists ranging from Marquis Childs and the Alsops to Walter Winchell were vigorous in her defense. Political and other leaders, no matter of what party, took her side. Senator Ives of New York spoke up for her; so did Senator Lehman; so did James Byrnes, former Secretary of State; so did Clare Booth Luce, Nelson Rockefeller, President Dodds of Princeton, Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby, Lessing Rosenwald, John Hay Whitmey, various labor leaders, Robert F. Wagner, and General Walter Bedell Smith; so did Bernard M. Baruch and Dwight D. Eisenhower" (pages 340-342). Albert Lasker also enlisted the help of his attorney and good friend, John T. Cahill, who served his interests in the Manton case.

Many of those defenders were cronies of Rosenberg and/or the Laskers. And, if they had looked deeper, they could have discovered that Percy Avery Rockefeller (Skull and Bones 1900) and the Morgan bankers funded the Bolshevik Revolution and John Reed. Or are we supposed to believe that this is "a case of mistaken identity," too. (See "Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution," by Antony C. Sutton.)

Sutton - Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, Ch. 8 / Reformed Theology

(From "Think Tanks: Where the Revolution Is Being Planned," by Gary Allen. Originally in American Opinion, March 1971.) Footnote 3: "[Paul Gray] Hoffman is also married to an Establishment Insider, the former Anna Rosenberg. Mrs. Rosenberg is well known as the 'public relations' brains behind Nelson Rockefeller's political career. For four years in the early Fifties she was Assistant Secretary of Defense, picking key personnel for the entire Defense establishment. Yet all of her adult life Anna Rosenberg Hoffman has been on the Marxist side of the world revolution. Born in Hungary, she worked closely for many years with revolutionary Marxist Sidney Hillman. For years she wrote for Red organs, lectured to Red groups, and promoted Red activities. The official Communist publication, New Masses, carried an article by her in its issue for December 8, 1942. The magazine introduced her as 'Regional Director, War Manpower Commission,' the title which she held in the Roosevelt Administration at the time. The New Masses even carried a drawing of the author, establishing beyond any doubt that we are not dealing with a case of mistaken identity. There is a reason for emphasizing this, as we shall see.

"Ralph DeSola, a former Communist, testified under oath that in the mid-Thirties he attended meetings of the Communist John Reed Clubs with Mrs. Rosenberg, and that she was a member of the Communist Party. Although DeSola identified her by sight as the same Anna Rosenberg he knew to be a Communist, Mrs. Rosenberg steadfastly maintained that it was a case of mistaken identity. She declared that there were forty Anna Rosenbergs in New York City and six of them had signed Communist petitions. In an effort to cloud DeSola's testimony another Anna Rosenberg was produced from somewhere in California who claimed that she had been a member of the John Reed Clubs during the Thirties.

"One might almost believe it a curious coincidence if Mrs. Rosenberg of Defense had not contradicted her own testimony. She testified under oath: 'I re-read the Dies Committee report and the Anna Rosenberg [of the John Reed Clubs] was a writer. I am not a writer. I have never written anything.' An important point. Convincing even, if it were true. But later, on November 29, 1950, Mrs. Rosenberg told the same Senate Committee: 'I have a full list of the organizations to which I have belonged, and of everything I have written...' Mrs. Rosenberg then submitted a long list of articles she had authored, establishing that she had already testified falsely under oath. It is significant too that she failed to list the article she had written for the Communist New Masses of December 8, 1952.

"President Eisenhower, as it turned out, was an old friend of Mrs. Rosenberg and knew her favorably long before her patron, George C. Marshall, took her into the Defense Department as a manpower expert. (See the New York Times December 9 and December 23, 1950.) The President trusted her. Others did not, and the opposition to her Defense Department appointment was violently and vehemently attacked by official Communist organs, as well as by the multitude of Communist Fronts and Insider-controlled publications throughout the country."

Truman administration official J. Thomas Schneider believes that Rosenberg was appointed to the position in order to promote General George Marshall's legislation for universal military service.

Schneider / Truman Presidential Library

Anna M. Rosenberg was a trustee of the National Fund for Medical Education in 1954. Fellow trustees included Elmer H. Bobst, B. Brewster Jennings, Devereux C. Josephs, Winthrop Rockefeller, and Thomas J. Ross (Letter, Howard Corning Jr. to Dr. C.C. Little, Aug. 16, 1954).

Corning to Little, Aug. 16, 1954 / UCSF-Legacy

"In 1958, helped by testimony from Encyclopedia Britannica's Bill Benton, former FCC Chairman Newt Minow, Anna Rosenberg Hoffman, and Adlai Stevenson (who would become chairman of the board of directors of EB Films the following year), the Congress passed Public Law 85-864, the National Defense Education Act (NDEA), authorizing the government to distribute $480 million in matching funds to assist educational institutions in developing curriculum, programs, and learning aids, including film and audio-visual equipment... Elementary and Secondary School Act of 1965 (ASEA): Title II, authorizing $100 million for library resources, and Title III, which allocated $100 million for use in several areas, audio-visual aids and programmed materials among them (Project Discovery, and lobbying by Benton et al. changed focus away from textbooks)..." (Key federal programs leading to increased funds for academic films. Geoff Alexander, Association of Moving Image Archivists Conference, Boston, Nov. 2002.)

In 1958, Rosenberg was a member of New York City Mayor Wagner's new Health Research Council. Other members included James S. Adams of Lazard Freres & Co.; Dr. Leona Baumgartner, Commissioner, Department of Health; Devereux C. Josephs, chairman of the board of the New York Life Insurance Company and a director of the Morgan Guaranty Trust; Dr. Mervin J. Kelly, president of Bell Telephone Laboratories; Mrs. Mary Lasker, president of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation; Dr. Robert K. Merton, Professor of Sociology at Columbia University; Gerard Piel, publisher of Scientific American; Dr. Warren Weaver, vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation; and Bethuel M. Webster, counsel to the Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company. (New City Research Agency To Finance Health Studies. By Peter Kihss. New York Times, Sep. 17, 1958 p. 1; Members of Health Council. New York Times, Sep. 17, 1958 p. 22.)

Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary Lasker, Ruth Field, Agnes Meyer (wife of Eugene Meyer), Anna Rosenberg and Bob Benjamin worked together raising funds for JFK's campaign for president (Eleanor Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy, Aug. 16, 1960.)

Roosevelt to Kennedy, 1960 / National Park Service

Anna Rosenberg Hoffman was appointed to the Commission on Income Maintenance Programs (the Heineman Commission on welfare and related programs, 1968-1970) by President Johnson. Other members included future American Health Foundation Trustee Maxwell M. Rabb, and RAND Corporation President Henry S. Rowen.

Heineman Commission / Social Security Administration

Carl Bakal and Tom Rosenberg of Anna M. Rosenberg Associates attended the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing's first national press briefing on "Health Care For All," Jan. 18-20, 1971 (pp. 11-14), with future American Health Foundation Trustee Edmund Pellegrino as a discussant. Alice Fordyce of the Lasker Foundation also attended. It was sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Participating or attending various other CASW events were Daniel Koshland Jr. and C.H. Li; Paul Kotin, Frank Rauscher, and Carl Sagan; Judge David Bazelon, Richard Perle, Harvey Brooks, Edward E. David, and Earl Ubell. The board chairman of the Carnegie Corporation of New York was Frederick Sheffield, a director of Liggett & Myers.

Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, 1971 / UCSF-Legacy

The American Cancer Society

Anna M. Rosenberg is listed as an Honorary Life Member of the American Cancer Society in 1956, along with Gen. William J. Donovan, Eric A. Johnston, and Alfred P. Sloan Jr. The Board of Directors includes James Adams of Lazard Freres, Lane W. Adams, Elmer H. Bobst, William U. Gardner (later the director of the Council for Tobacco Research), and Mrs. Albert D. Lasker.

ACS Directors, 1956 / UCSF-Legacy

Paul Hoffman and Anna Rosenberg tried their luck at the "birdcage" at a gambling party benefit for the American Cancer Society on the French luxury liner Liberte, while Mrs. Lowell P. Weicker spun the roulette wheel with Madame Herve Alphand, wife of the French Ambassador to the U.S. (New York Daily News, Jun. 17, 1960.)

New York Daily News, Jun. 17, 1960 / UCSF-Legacy

Mrs. Anna Rosenberg Hoffman was a director-at-large of the American Cancer Society from 1946-52 and then an Honorary Life Member. She was also on the boards of the John Hay Whitney Foundation and the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation.

House of Delegates and Board of Directors, ACS 1966 / UCSF-Legacy

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 CTR. 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-Legacy

In 1975, Anna Rosenberg Hoffman's ACS bio says she was a director of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, and of the UN Assn. of the USA.

1975 House of Delegates and Board of Directors, ACS / UCSF-Legacy
ACS Annual Report, 1976 / UCSF-Legacy

Citizens' Committee for the Conquest of Cancer

Mrs. Paul G. Hoffman was a sponsoring member of the Citizens' Committee for the Conquest of Cancer, co-founded by Mary Lasker's crony, Sidney Farber, and co-chaired by Emerson Foote of the American Cancer Society and Solomon Garb, who was a correspondent of Mary Lasker between 1969 and 1981. Other 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; 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-Legacy

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cast 08-16-15