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Mr. Axthelm's observations on recruiting particularly invite comment. It is a fact that Harvard's program of "limited recruiting" last year included a phone call from New York's junior Senator urging a prospect to enroll at Harvard. As far as I know, the Big Green does not rely on the services of Governor Nelson Rockefeller or the late Daniel Webster for its recruiting of football players.
During my whole association with Mrs. Eaton I found her to be completely honest, frank and helpful. I suppose there has always been an exception to every rule and to every statement, and I take it upon myself to be the exception to Mark Kram's statement that she was "feared by all." I can assure you that I never feared Mrs. Eaton, but I respected her at all times, for her judgment and her ability.
Mr. Kram quotes Leo Minskoff at some length, and I want to take exception to one part of this quote, and this part has to do with Mrs. Eaton stealing Clay to fight Lavorante and Archie Moore after Joe Louis had promoted Cassius' first fight in Los Angeles against George Logan. In the first place, Joe Louis was merely a partner in this promotion, and he was not the partner putting up the money. The promotion was extremely amateurish, and I want to make it clear that this was not the fault of Joe Louis, who tried very hard, along with Mrs. Louis, to see that the promotion was a professional success. However, it was not, and when Aileen Eaton asked me if she could promote Cassius' next fight it was quite logical that I should say yes.
I never had to worry about her word, and I never had to worry that every word in our contract with her would not be carried out in full.
Mark Kram gave several examples of her kindheartedness, and I should like to add to the list the fact that when Lavorante was fatally injured in a fight several months after his fight with Cassius, Aileen Eaton was a steady visitor to the boy in the hospital, looked after expenses, and did everything she could by employing the best doctors to see if Lavorante's life could not be saved. Her attention to Lavorante's welfare was well beyond the call of duty as a fight promoter.
I have been fortunate in spending a good many hours with Aileen Eaton and her late husband Cal outside of the arena and her office, and her statement, "I am a lady away from boxing," is a true statement.
For the last several years, in spite of my lack of interest in boxing, I have been following, as best an outsider can, the promotional activities of Aileen Eaton. You are so correct when you state, "She runs her polished operation like a business, one that is refreshingly interested in the people who allow her business to exist." This is especially true if you are including the fan.