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Mike Gorman Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS C 462

Abstract

Thomas Francis "Mike" Gorman (1913-1989), a noted journalist, author, publicist, lobbyist and advocate for health causes and an ally of the philanthropist Mary Lasker. The bulk of the collection consists of speeches, publications, notes, minutes and memoranda. Most of the material reflects Gorman's career after he became involved in publicity and lobbying in the 1950s.

Dates

  • 1946-1989

Extent

8.0 Linear Feet (19 boxes + map drawer folders)

Creator

Abstract

Thomas Francis "Mike" Gorman (1913-1989), a noted journalist, author, publicist, lobbyist and advocate for health causes and an ally of the philanthropist Mary Lasker. The bulk of the collection consists of speeches, publications, notes, minutes and memoranda. Most of the material reflects Gorman's career after he became involved in publicity and lobbying in the 1950s.

Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Restrictions

Collection is not restricted. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access.

Copyright and Re-use Information

Donor's copyrights were transferred to the public domain. Archival collections often contain mixed copyrights; while NLM is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. It is the user's responsibility to research and understand any applicable copyright and re-publication rights not allowed by fair use. NLM does not grant permissions to publish.

Privacy Information

Archives and manuscript collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in any collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the National Library of Medicine assumes no responsibility.

Biographical Note

Thomas Francis "Mike" Gorman (1913-1989), a noted journalist, author, publicist, lobbyist and advocate for health causes and an ally of the philanthropist Mary Lasker, was born to Irish parents in New York City in 1913. He earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree at New York University in 1934 and 1936 respectively. After having served in the Air Force in the Second World War, he went to work as a reporter for Oklahoma City's Daily Oklahoman. There, he soon rose to national prominence. In the late 1940s, he wrote a series of blistering exposés of the treatment of patients in Oklahoma's state mental hospitals. For this, he received many honors and awards, including the Lasker Award for public service in 1948. He then traveled to other southern and midwestern states in order to examine their state mental hospitals. He eventually turned his findings into his best-selling book Every Other Bed (1956).

In 1953 he became executive director of the National Committee Against Mental Illness, a Washington publicity and lobbying group supported by Mary Lasker. He spent the rest of his life in similar positions, lobbying Congress with Lasker for health legislation and appropriations (and succeeding with such legislation as the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Construction Act of 1963), writing speeches on health issues for Representatives, Senators and Presidents, and speaking to citizens' mental health groups around the country. Through the decades, he served on various presidential panels, on the National Institute of Mental Health's Mental Health Advisory Council, and on the first U.S. Mental Health Delegation to the Soviet Union (1967).

In the 1970s, he became interested in different health problems. Mary Lasker, Michael DeBakey and Gorman formed the Citizens for the Treatment of High Blood Pressure in 1973. Like the National Committee Against Mental Illness, this group focused on lobbying Congress and educating the public. Gorman also helped lead publicity groups focusing on alcoholism and the dangers of high cholesterol. In the 1980s, he became the executive director of the National Initiative for Glaucoma Control (funded by Mary Lasker and the pharmaceutical company Merck, Sharp & Dohme). Gorman remained active on all these fronts until his death in 1989.

Collection Summary

The bulk of the collection consists of speeches, publications, notes, minutes and memoranda. Most of the material reflects Gorman's career after he became involved in publicity and lobbying in the 1950s. With the notable exception of the material concerning his best-selling 1956 book Every Other Bed (located in the Publications series), there is little from Gorman's career as a reporter.

Gorman's work for mental health is reflected in the collection's showpiece, an extensive array of speeches and testimony by Gorman, most of it dating from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s. The file also contains speeches Gorman wrote for other people, such as Presidents Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Senator Lister Hill and Dr. Michael DeBakey.

Also of note are files Gorman accumulated in the 1970s and 1980s as executive director of Citizens for the Treatment of High Blood Pressure (most of them relating to the organization's participation in the National Institutes of Health's National High Blood Pressure Education Program), in the 1980s as executive director of the National Initiative for Glaucoma Control and in 1967 as a delegate to the first U.S. Mental Health Mission to the Soviet Union (located in the Subject series).

The Gorman Papers also contain a good collection of photographs, both of Gorman and of other major political figures of the late twentieth century (prominent are Lister Hill and Mary Lasker). Overall, the papers contain little correspondence, though some with Senator Lister Hill and Mary Lasker can be found throughout the collection. The Gorman Papers will be of interest to those researching the politics of health in the United States in the mid to late twentieth century.

Two artifacts found in the collection have been pulled and cataloged separately. They are a pen used by President John F. Kennedy to sign the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Construction Act of 1963 and a pen used by President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign the Community Mental Health Center Staffing Act of 1965.

Provenance

Gift of Mike and Breon Gorman (son and daughter), 1989. Accession #563.

General

Processed by
Francesca Morgan under the direction of Peter Hirtle, Curator of Modern Manuscripts.
Processing completed
May 15, 1991
Encoded by
Dan Jenkins

Language of Materials

Collection materials primarily in English

Title
Finding Aid to the Mike Gorman Papers, 1946-1989
Status
Unverified Partial Draft
Author
Archives and Modern Manuscripts Program, History of Medicine Division
Date
May 15, 1991; 2000
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English
Edition statement
Version 1.0

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collection Collecting Area

Contact:
8600 Rockville Pike
Bldg 38/1E-21, MSC 3819
Bethesda MD 20894 US
(301) 402-8878