AUGUST 21, 1953
NEW YORK, Thursday—The sad news came to us yesterday evening of Ed Flynn's death. I am glad he and Mrs. Flynn and their daughter, Sheila, were having a happy trip together because that will be a memory to cherish for both his wife and daughter.
Ed Flynn was my husband's warm friend and wise counselor. He was the Democratic leader in the Bronx, but as a man he was far more than a political boss. He knew and understood what the New Deal really meant.
Ed Flynn may sometimes have had the outlook of the big-city boss where purely political activities were concerned, but he was a broadminded man. He could leave limitations behind and see the big picture in the efforts that were being made really to make this country stronger and improve the situation for the people as a whole. He saw our local situation also in connection with the world situation. His wise advice will be missed by many people.
I differed with him sometimes because he was so devoted to the Democratic party he always wanted to build the strength of the party and, therefore, rarely wanted to merge it with any other strength. I always respected his point of view, however, and listened to his advice. And aside from all official connections I had a warm and enduring affection for him as a very fine human being.
I did a recording yesterday morning in the series "This I Believe," and heeded the advice of others by writing out what I was going to say, hoping that this time my meaning would be clearly expressed. Last time I did it extemporaneously and I drew down on my head all kinds of misinterpretations because I was not sufficiently clear.
Iran is certainly an exciting spot to be in at the moment!
One day you hear that the Prime Minister is successful and that the Shah has left Iran and the next day the papers tell you that the rebels have thrown out the Prime Minister and that the Shah is returning immediately.
The Middle East is full of unrest, but I don't think the actual ruler is as important as what can be done in the way of reforms that will really change the life of the people. Until the people in this area of the world really see that efforts are being made to improve their standard of living I cannot see how there can be any change toward stability. People who are hungry, people who have very little hope of improved living standards for themselves and their children are not going to settle down to leading peaceful and productive lives. It's impossible.
So let us hope that whatever happens in Iran that reforms toward a better life for the people actually will be accomplished.