# 20 Mad Men At The Peace Corps: Bob Gale (Washington, D.C.)

Bob Gale was six foot two, blue eyed, and owned a big personality. People who didn’t like Bob Gale eventually ended up, if not liking him, appreciating what he did for the Peace Corps. He was an academic coming to the Peace Corps from being the vice president for development at Carlton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and a Humphrey supporter.

Bob Gale

Bob Gale

Gale had decided he wanted to go to Washington with the New Frontier and work for the Peace Corps and got in touch with Hubert Humphrey, who he knew, and a meeting was arranged with Bill Haddad (another early Mad Man) who was already working at the agency.

William F. Haddad was the Associate Director for the Office of Planning and Evaluation. (At the age of 14 in post-Pearl Harbor, he had enlisted in the Army Air Corps pilot training program and advanced to cadet squadron commander before his true age was discovered.)

Haddad (who went on to become a Congressman from New York State) had come to the Peace Corps from being editor in chief of the Maco Publishing Company in New York and had been involved in the production of the famous pictorial essay, The Family of Man. He liked Gale because Gale was, in his eyes, “versatile.”

Haddad convinced Shriver to create an office called “Special Projects” and he put Gale in charge. It was an office free to do absolutely anything, a combination ombudsman and gadfly, a close cousin of the Division of Evaluation both logistically and philosophically.

I’m not sure Haddad had any idea (really) of who–or what!–they had in Bob Gale. But here is one story.

Gale was famous at Carlton College (which, if you don’t know, is an excellent college in Minnesota,) for having raised over twelve million dollars for an endowment in increase faculty salaries, student aid, and to launch an era of new buildings on campus.

When Gale arrives in Washington no one knew him. He had no real connections to the Kennedys, but he is hired and Haddad suggests that they go out for dinner to celebrate. Haddad wants to go to the Jockey Club in the Fairfax Hotel, now the Ritz Carlton. “You never know who you’ll see there: Marlon Brando, Onassis, Lee Radziwill,” Haddad tells the mid-west boy from Saint Cloud, Minnesota.

But when Haddad and Gale walk into the Jockey Club there is Minoru Yamasaki, the famous architect, who would design the World Trade Center. He had already designed five of the new buildings at Carlton College  when he had first met Gale. He greets Bob as a long lost brother, and Haddad and Gale join their party and the Jockey Club’s  famous maitre d’, Jacques Vivien, never presents anyone a bill, and even joins the crowd when  champagne is served in the early hours of the morning.

Welcome to Washington, D.C. and the Peace Corps, Bob! (As if you didn’t already belong there.)


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  • Minoru Yamasaki actually came to Carleton, at the request of Larry Gould, the president. Larry didn’t entertain, and that job feel to Bob Gale. Minoru arrived with his translator for dinner and Bob decided to cook steaks on the grill, outside, in Minnesota, in January. He puts the steaks on the grill and goes in to serve drinks and cones back out, the fire had gone out, and the steaks are frozen solid. Dinner is delayed, Minoru gets very drunk, and agreed to build his first project on campus, though his schedule and commitments are already overbooked. His translator is furious because he knows this is bad face, that even while drunk, a Japanese must keep his word.

    Minoru became committed to the mission at Carleton as a personal project because of Bob Gale, and frozen steaks.

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