To Arthur Larson, dean of Pittsburgh University law school, came a long-distance call from a highly placed stranger. Secretary of Labor James Mitchell wanted to ask whether Larson could come to Washington "for a talk." Larson, although puzzled, could and did. Last week painters were still working on Larson's newly bought suburban Pittsburgh house, but Larson no longer planned to live there. He had been appointed Under Secretary of Labor.

At 43, Larson is slim, tall, well tailored and handsome. He likes to write songs, plays them on a guitar for his family (wife...

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