Archive - November 1, 2016

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#5 Mad Men of the Peace Corps–Kiker (Washington, D.C.)
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# 4 Mad Men of the Peace Corps (Washington, D.C.)

#5 Mad Men of the Peace Corps–Kiker (Washington, D.C.)

If there was one HQ staffer who could have walk straight onto the set of , Mad Men, is was Doug Kiker of Griffin, Georgia. Kiker was an original “mad man”  in his brief time at the Peace Corps during those early days when he was chief of the division of public information. He would leave the Peace Corps in 1963 for the New York Herald Tribune, and on his first week on that job, he was  riding in the press bus in the motorcade with JFK when the president was assassinated.  By 1966, he was with NBC News as an on-air reporter and he would remain with that network for the rest of his life. He died of a heart attack in 1991 at the age of 61. Kiker came from the south, from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, majoring in English and he wanting to be a writer. His first short story . . .

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# 4 Mad Men of the Peace Corps (Washington, D.C.)

If you watched Mad Men you know all about the office atmosphere and the thick layer of smoke that filled the offices. It was no better in the Peace Corps during those early years of the 1960s. Flipping through pages of old Peace Corps publications, I see half a dozen people who I knew, all with cigarettes in their hands. Al Meisel in the Training Division; Charlie Peters, head of Evaluation; Jim Gibson, head of Agricultural Affairs. He liked cigars and smoked them in the building! The wonderful Jules Pagano.  Other heavy smokers: Howard Greenberg in Management; Jack Vaughn, the second director; Frank Mankiewicz; evaluator Dick Elwell, (as I recall, everyone in evaluation smoked and drank and wrote great prose). Doug Kiker and his crew in Public Affairs knew how to light up. And so did Betty Harris. She with her cigarette holders. When the Mad Men weren’t smoking, they were drinkings. Warren Wiggins told me that . . .

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