Sometimes a major gift walks in under its own power. This one dragged another large gift behind it.
This is what happened: a strong station earned spontaneous support. The donor, an internationally acclaimed singer, was also called America’s handsomest show business idol. He made the gift – then extorted another gift from his best pal.
Elder statesmen now, there was a time when one sold out hundreds of concerts in stadiums throughout the world. A time when the other starred in dozens of plays and films – and won every honor, including an Academy Award.
And a time when these best friends helped strategize and finance civil rights campaigns – when both walked at the side of Martin Luther King during the long march we now call the Civil Rights Era.
(Comment by Burke – the talking head in this 2-minute video. Carole N., station manager at the time, told me about this incident about 20 years ago. As I think about it, I worry that I might have inflated the amount of the gifts over the years. Nevertheless, $25,000 plus $10,000 is the way I remember the story – and thh way I told it here.)