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NEW JERSEY: Leon & Edison

2 minute read

Leon Henderson, forced out as Price Boss last December by an angry Congress, is now a happy, healthy civilian in the chips. He has lost much of his paunch, and his once ever-so-sensitive sacroiliac bothers him not at all. Manhattan night-clubbers often see him bounding bull-like in the Henderson version of a rumba. He is his own boss as board chairman of the Research Institute of America (a business economic service); he can say what he wants once a week as radio news commentator for O’Sullivan Rubber Co. (“America’s No. 1 Heel”). His onetime $12,000 income is now over $75,000.

But last week, for a few breathless hours, it seemed that Leon Henderson might return to the national scene. From Washington and Atlantic City came reports that New Jersey’s Governor Charles Edison might appoint Leon to succeed New Jersey’s late Senator W. Warren Barbour. Said Leon Henderson, practically wrapping the toga about his bulky frame: “I was urged to run in 1942 and always have understood that I would be highly satisfactory to Governor Edison, to labor, and to other groups, including Mayor Hague.”

But Leon Henderson’s words apparently landed on Governor Edison’s deaf ear. Next day Governor Edison named his longtime friend and business associate, Arthur Walsh, 47, manager of Governor Edison’s successful campaign in 1940. At 19, Arthur Walsh played the violin for Thomas A. Edison, frequently played his instrument alongside Edison recordings to demonstrate their tonal quality. At Thomas Edison’s funeral he played the inventor’s favorite,I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen. He is now executive vice president of Thomas A. Edison Inc. and a director of six Edison subsidiaries. His appointment brought praise even from New Jersey’s Republican Senator Albert W. Hawkes. From the tight-lipped Hague organization: no comment. From Leon Henderson: “It’s terrible to be the world’s best economist and be known only for your rumba.”

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