BEHIND THE SCENES: The Disappearing Letter

Francis P. Whitehair wanted to be Secretary of the Navy. Last week he made it. The last step on his Jacob's ladder was a disappearing letter of resignation.

Whitehair's first step came in 1951 when he got himself named Under Secretary of the Navy on the recommendation of Harry Truman's crony, White House Aide Donald Dawson. Whitehair was not a hit with the admirals, who thought that he neglected the Navy in favor of politics in his home state of Florida. They were scandalized when he gave an $11,800-a-year job to William E. Willett, another Dawson pal whom the...

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