Armand Hammer
October 10, 2003 8:49 PM   Subscribe

Armand Hammer: loved, hated and investigated. An enigmatic icon and philanthropist , he was branded as either a communist sympathizer or a monopolistic capitalist.
posted by moonbird (8 comments total)
and your point....
posted by clavdivs at 8:22 AM on October 11, 2003

You decide... he was an interesting person, whether or not he was a scumbag.
posted by moonbird at 10:58 AM on October 11, 2003

Who? You mean Cecil Adams? The man rocks! An american institution! I'm surprised Cecil Adams doesn't have his own daily MeFi page every single day. ..oh wait. That's right. There's already a place on the 'Net to discuss anything Cecil Adams reports, and hey it's not all that bad a place. This one is one of my favorites. Great piece, but then Cecil's just chock full of useful and useless trivia. The Straight Dope's just great.

...Oh. You meant that other guy? Oh gee I don't know. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around what Arm & Hammer baking soda has to do with an enema.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:10 PM on October 11, 2003

Strangely enough, AH also appeared in a Cosby episode. (see the second item.)
posted by taz at 1:21 PM on October 11, 2003

Two words - Piper Alpha
The man was scum.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 1:23 PM on October 11, 2003

Hammer set up AMTORG with Lenin, the chairman was Dzerzhinski. See, Hammer and the old man set up this little front for two main reasons, to keep an appearance of trade and to collect intelligence on soviet commercial and military activities.
posted by clavdivs at 2:35 PM on October 11, 2003

I have decided...

Below is an example of how reflexively Hammer would turn to Al Gore Senior, and of the sort of service that Armand Hammer might require of him. It seems in this case that Armand was distressed by the circulation of a printed flier beginning "Let it be known throughout our beloved land" and captioned "Communists — the Hammer Brothers," and that he supplied a copy of this flier to the FBI Laboratory for examination, hoping possibly that the FBI would be able to discover the authors for him.

On 11/16/66, Assistant Director MALONE had occasion to converse with ARMAND HAMMER (Bufile 61-280), who indicated that he was greatly distressed over this present character assassination and intended to see Senatore GORE of Tennessee regarding the matter. He indicated that he would have Senator GORE see if the Director of the FBI, JOHN EDGAR HOOVER, could not do something about the matter. Mr. ARMAND HAMMER indicated to Mr. MALONE that some 15 years ago he had Senator STYLES BRIDGES have the Director conduct an investigation regarding his background to prove such allegations were false.
FOIA.FBI, Part 5, p. 85. Misspelling "Senatore" was in the original.

posted by clavdivs at 2:40 PM on October 11, 2003

Occidental had contributed more than $470,000 to the Democratic Party. This included a check for $100,000 written two days after Occidental chairman, Ray Irani, was a guest in the Lincoln Bedroom. Gore received $35,550 directly.

oh yeah baby.

And it is not only protection and access that the Gores returned for Armand Hammer's generosity — sometimes they facilitated deals that netted Armand Hammer vast fortunes. One of these was your father removing obstacles to Armand Hammer obtaining concessions to Libyan oil:

As head of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Gore used his influence on the US Ambassador in Libya to arrange a meeting between Hammer and King Idris. That meeting transformed the position of Occidental Petroleum, making it one of the biggest oil companies in the world and Hammer one of the world's most prominent entrepreneurs.

At a cost of at least $5 million, Hammer bribed the old King and some of his ministers to give him a concession on a vast Libyan oil field that would ultimately produce 800,000 barrels of crude a day (worth roughly $20 million a day or almost $7.5 billion a year). Al Gore Snr was at Hammer's side on the day he paraded King Idris up a red carpet laid on the desert to open the new field.

Neil Lyndon, How Mr Clean got his hands dirty, Sunday Telegraph (London), 01-Nov-1998,

Throughout the whole of his life, Al Gore Snr and his family depended on pay-outs, kickbacks and subventions from Hammer. Like his father's before him, Al Gore Jnr's political career was lavishly sponsored by Hammer from the moment it began until Hammer died, only two years before Gore joined Clinton in the 1992 race for the White House.
posted by clavdivs at 2:45 PM on October 11, 2003

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