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OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 11/06/1951 - HFSID 287849

On letterhead of his Pulitzer Prize-winning South Pacific, he writes to former FDR law partner Basil O'Connor about transferring the chairmanship of the Mary MacArthur Fund to Gertrude Lawrence, then starring in The King and I. A letter with many fine associations!

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OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II
On letterhead of his Pulitzer Prize-winning South Pacific, he writes to former FDR law partner Basil O'Connor about transferring the chairmanship of the Mary MacArthur Fund to Gertrude Lawrence, then starring in The King and I. A letter with many fine associations!
Typed Letter signed: "Oscar Hammerstein", 1 page, 8x10. London, 1951 November 6. On letterhead of Williamson Music's London presentation of South Pacific to Basil O'Connor, New York, N.Y. In full: "I have written to Gertrude Lawrence and she has said that she will be glad to take over the Chairmanship of the Mary MacArthur Fund this year, so all you have to do is to get in touch with her and arrange it all from your end. All good wishes to you, Sincerely". Hammerstein wrote the lyrics for some of the greatest musicals in theatrical history, including Friml's Rose Marie, Kern's Show Boat, Romberg's Desert Song and Richard Rodgers' Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, Flower Drum Song and The Sound of Music. He won a Pulitzer Prize for South Pacific and Academy Awards for "It Might As Well Be Spring" and "The Last Time I Saw Paris". Basil O'Connor (1892-1972) was Franklin D. Roosevelt's law partner (1924-1933), and thereafter senior partner of his own firm. Active in charitable causes, O'Connor was a leader of the March of Dimes and the American Red Cross. English actress and musical comedy star Gertrude Lawrence (1898-1952) was starring on Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I when Hammerstein wrote this letter. She died less than a year later, however, and was buried in her gown from the "Shall We Dance Scene" of the musical. Hammerstein made a speech at her funeral. The Mary MacArthur Fund was founded by actress Helen Hayes in 1949 to help children afflicted with polio, the disease which had claimed her daughter Mary that year. Mary MacArthur Fund grant recipients included Dr. Jonas Salk, who would discover a polio vaccine in 1955. A letter with many fine associations! Vertical and horizontal fold creases. Red pencil check at upper left margin. Otherwise, fine condition.

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