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Photograph: Bill M. Harris [Click for larger image]

Victor Lasky

(Jan. 7, 1919 – Feb, 22, 1990)

Born in Liberty, Sullivan County, New York, the son of Max and Fannie Lasky, and was married to Denison College alumni Patricia Pratt of Johnstown, Ohio, on Sept. 6, 1952, Victor would become a prominent anti-communist author after the close of World War II.  Patricia was the daughter of Benjamin

Growing up in Manhattan, New York, and graduating from Brooklyn College in 1940, he would, in 1942, enlist in the United States Army as a journalist for the European Stars and Stripes. Prior to this he had served as a copy boy for The New York Journal–American and afterwards as a journalist for The Chicago Sun.

Returning stateside after his service he would join the staff of The New York World–Telegram as a journalist. Winning The Pulitzer Prize in 1947 for a series of articles respecting communist infiltration in the United States in accompaniment with Frederick Woltman. His coverage of the Alger Hiss trial, a former U. S. State Department official convicted of perjury, led to he and Ralph de Toledano to pen the well received book, Seeds of Treason: The Strange Case of Alger Hiss in 1950.

He was a founder, and first Vice-President, of the Council Against Communist Aggression (1951-1967). This anti-communist, propaganda defeating committee, was organized as a result of incursions by North Korea into its neighbor, South Korea, in 1950. It was these events which led to the involvement of the United States in the Korean War (1950-1953).

Moving from print to film, in 1952, Victor Lasky became, in a fashion, part of the movie-making machine of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Acting as screenwriter for the film, The Hoaxters, a thirty-six minute documentary released in 1952, he was nominated by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for an Oscar in the feature documentary category. The film, The Sea Around Us, by Irwin Allen (1916-1991) took the statuette. The Hoaxsters, described as 'showing how the dictators of the world up to and including Joseph Stalin have been much like the hucksters who attempt to fool the people with "snake oil".' The film was produced, directed and narrated by Dore Schary (1905-1980) and was released with the endorsement of the United States Department of State and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Furthering his affiliation with the federal government he took the position of public relations for Radio Liberty, a propaganda tool funded under the auspices of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Beginning in 1962, and continuing for the next two decades Victor Lasky wrote a syndicated column, "Say it Straight," which was released via the North American Newspaper Alliance. This syndicate included such writers, authors, and personages as Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), Ian Fleming (1908-1964), and Lucianne Golberg, aka Lucianne Cummings, (1935- ), a political spy for then President Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) during the 1972 presidential election.

Victor Lasky was an accomplished author during his life span. In addition to Seeds of Treason: The Strange Case of Alger Hiss (1950), he also wrote J. F K., the Man and the Myth (1963), Robert F. Kennedy, the Myth and the Man (1968), It Didn't Start with Watergate (1977), and Never Complain, Never Explain (1981) about Henry Ford II (1917-1987). The second to the last book delves into demonstrating that not only did the Democratic party play at dirty tricks during an election, but that the Republican party did so as well.

The Victor Lasky Collection held by the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs Archives includes selected works from Victor's personal library as well as a small collection of personal photographs.