Alien Property Custodian, II
On March 13, 1942, the nation's newspapers gave front-page treatment to Crowley's appointment as alien property custodian; and soon there were congratulations from many of the bankers he had known. There was also a warm note from his old friend, "Al" Schmedeman, the former governor half jesting that "the President should appoint me as a member of his Cabinet for the services I have rendered him in starting you in public life"; and there was a nostalgic note from a friend in St. Paul, who recalled "a certain December afternoon in 1932 when I...almost insisted that you lend your services to the state of Wisconsin." There was also serious coverage by journalists. The United States News impersonally discussed the issues facing the new alien property custodian; Irving Perlmetter, in a syndicated column, spoke of Crowley as "Washington's Champion Officeholder" and titillated with lively descriptions of the properties -- diamonds and apartment houses, securities and patents -- he would control; and Time magazine asserted that Leo Crowley had come to the nation's capital as "a symbol of banking integrity" and was now taking "a job for a Lion."1
There were also heartwarming lyrics from Wisconsin's newspapers. The Wisconsin State Journal was reminded of "Horatio Alger heroes of fiction." Crowley had risen from poverty to become Wisconsin's "real" governor, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and chairman and president of a giant company, meanwhile serving his church so markedly that the pope had knighted him. All this he had accomplished quietly, with an easy smile and a ready measure of Irish humor. And now the president had expressed his appreciation of Crowley's commitment to service by naming him alien property custodian. The State Journal, among other newspapers, waxed at
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Publication information: Book title: The President's Man:Leo Crowley and Franklin Roosevelt in Peace and War. Contributors: Stuart L. Weiss - Author. Publisher: Southern Illinois University. Place of publication: Carbondale, IL. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 132.
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