Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Richard Ernst Cooper, September 20, 1993

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:35 - World War II

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Partial Transcript: Then came World War II

Segment Synopsis: Cooper discusses the experiences of himself and his two brothers (including John Sherman Cooper) in WWII.

Keywords: Attempted; Close; Desire; Dinner; Direct commission; Don Cooper; Drafted; End; Enlisted; Enlisted men; Graduated; Instructor; John Sherman Cooper; Joined; Later; Missed out; OCS; Officer Candidate School (OCS); Old; Overseas; President; Private; Service; Speech impediment; Stayed; Study; Stutter; Transportation corps; U.S. Air Force; U.S. Army; U.S. Navy; University; Visiting

Subjects: Age; Brothers; Centre College (Danville, Ky. : 1918- ); Correspondence; Denver (Colo); Europe; Fort Custer (Mich.); Fort Sam Houston (Tex.); High school; Illinois; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Lansing (Mich.); Letters; Michigan State University; Military police; New York (N.Y.); Politicians; Spanish; Teaching; Transfer; Washington (D.C.); World War I; World War II; Young

00:07:31 - Brother's first marriage

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Partial Transcript: And right before he went overseas, he was married.

Segment Synopsis: Cooper describes John Sherman Cooper's first marriage during WWII to a woman he met while stationed at Fort Custer. Cooper discusses the reactions of his family to his brother's sudden marriage.

Keywords: Announcement; Apartment; Bewildered; Busy; Campaign appearances; Cover story; Different; Elected; Estranged; Family; Flashy; Hotel; Institution; John Sherman Cooper; Letter; Louisville Courier-Journal; Marriage announcement; Met; Never mentioned; Not together; Objected; Overseas; School; Senate; Situation; Stayed; Step-daughter; U.S. Army; U.S. Navy; Unaware; Unpleasant; Unsure; Visit; Wife

Subjects: Brother; Divorce; Europe; Fall; Father; Fort Custer (Mich.); Husbands; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Marriage; Mother; Newspapers; Politicians; Pulaski County (Ky.); Reputation; San Antonio (Tex.); Sisters; Somerset (Ky.); Spring; Washington (D.C.); Wealth; Winter; Women; World War II; Writing; Young

00:22:41 - Brother's girlfriends / Brother's first wife

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Partial Transcript: The--the girls that he'd gone with and they were delightful people.

Segment Synopsis: Cooper describes some of the girlfriends that his brother John had before marrying his first wife. Cooper talks of JSC's first wife and their subsequent divorce.

Keywords: 1946 Senatorial campaign; Abandonment; Abrupt; Administrative assistant; Agreed; Apartment hotel; Attorney; Blunt; Campaign; Certification; Colonel; County court; Disappeared; Disliked; Elected; Estranged; Family; Finances; First wife; Fort Indiantown Gap (Pa.); Girlfriends; Good looking; Graduated; Granted; Honest; Husband; Impulsive; In love; Infatuated; John Sherman Cooper; Judicial; Leaving; Left; Letter; Looked after; Met; Never married; No objections; No trouble; Not permitted; Obligations; Old; Paid; Permit; Proper; Refused; Sensible; Servant; Settlement; Staging area; State legislature; Step-daughter; Terrible; U.S. Army; University; Unsure; Visiting; Well-off; Wife; Wonderful

Subjects: Age; Brothers; Business; Centre College (Danville, Ky. : 1918- ); Checks; Death; Divorce; Education; Europe; Father; Frankfort (Ky.); Friend; High school; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Kentucky State University; Marriage; Michigan; New York (N.Y.); Paris (France); Pennsylvania; Politicians; Pulaski County (Ky.); Railroads; Reasons; Schools; Sisters; Somerset (Ky.); Texas; War; Washington (D.C.); Wives; Woman; Women; Work; World War II; Writing; Young

00:35:31 - Brother's step-daughter / Ex-wife's background

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Partial Transcript: She went back to Michigan.

Segment Synopsis: Cooper discusses the step-daughter of JSC's ex-wife and her life. Cooper details the background of his brother's ex-wife and her tendency to lie about her personal background.

Keywords: Angry; Annulment; Asked; Backed off; Bank; Bleached; Bought; Clothes; Different; Divorce record; Don Cooper; End; Enigma; Ex-wife; Feelings; Good taste; Hair color; Hang-up; Help; Institution; John Sherman Cooper; Killed; Later years; Lies; Lying; Marriage announcement; Marriage certificate; Marriage license; Marriages; No trouble; Not good; Nurse; Pension; Phone call; Plane crash; Problems; Puzzling; Re-styled; Second trip; Sensitive; Sent back; Step-daughter; Style; Surgeon; Taken care of; Terrible; Unhappy; Widow; Wife; Wonderful

Subjects: Age; Aging; Brothers; Cincinnati (Ohio); Conversation; Correspondence; Divorce; Families; Florida; Hair; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Living; Marriage; Michigan; Money; Mother; Mystery; People; Politicians; Portland (Ore.); Pulaski County (Ky.); Reasons; Sisters; Somerset (Ky.); Sweden; Teacher; Truth; Washington (D.C.); Wealth

00:50:08 - Lorraine Cooper / Brother's wives

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Partial Transcript: . . .Lorraine whose--who was already in the public eye. . .

Segment Synopsis: Cooper discusses his brother's second wife Lorraine and her background. Cooper compares his brother's first and second wife and their personalities and families.

Keywords: 1956 Senatorial campaign; Accepted; Angry; Appointed; Background; Bad; Beautiful woman; Birthplace; Campaigns; Changed; Circular; Clerk; Courtesy; Delicate; Dinner; Family; Famous; Fine; First campaign; Forget; Got along; Great hall; Hearing aid; Honest; House; Interesting; John Sherman Cooper; Lorraine Coper; Marriage license; Met; Outspoken; Postponed; Prince Domenico Napoleone Orsini; Prominent; Public life; Re-married; Residence; Robert McAdoo; Senator; Slow; Step-daughter; Thomas Shevlin; Tipped off; U.S. Ambassador to India; Wedding date; Woodrow Wilson; Years

Subjects: Africa; Age; Best man; Brothers; Catholic Church; Daughters; Death; Detroit (Mich.); Europe; Fashion; Father; Husbands; India; Los Angeles (Calif.); Michigan; Mother; New Delhi (India); Newspapers; Pasadena (Calif.); Politicians; Pope; Portland (Ore.); Portrait; Press; Prince; Safaris; Spokane (Wash.); Teeth; Truth; Weddings; Wives; World War II

01:01:38 - Brother's estate and affairs

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Partial Transcript: Well, you know, I read a book called Friend and Foe in the U.S. Senate. . .

Segment Synopsis: Cooper discusses his brother's estate and affairs following his death. Issues with Lorraine Cooper's estate are also mentioned.

Keywords: Airplane; Apartment; Argument; Army uniform; Belongings; Book; Clothes; Decisions; Difficult; Dwight Eisenhower; Estate; Executor; Feelings; Friend and Foe in the U.S. Senate (book); Funeral; Hated; Hearsay; House; Hung-up; Inaccurate; Inventory; John F. Kennedy; John Sherman Cooper; Last years; Lawyer; Leaving; Left; Lonely; Lorraine Cooper; Marital trust; Mistake; Moved; Nice; Not settled; Not wealthy; Party; Passed on; Private; Probate; Professor; Retirement home; Ross K. Baker; Top hat; Unaware; Unfinished; Wardrobe; Will

Subjects: Brother; Busts; Change; Death; Furniture; Heirs; Nieces; Politicians; Rutgers University; Washington (D.C.); Wealth

01:10:51 - Lorraine Cooper's family

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Partial Transcript: Well, Lorraine was a wealthy woman.

Segment Synopsis: Cooper talks of Lorraine Cooper's family and their circumstances.

Keywords: Appraisal; Ashamed; Breakfast; Charles Taft; Dedication; Estate; Expense; Family; Famous; Fundraising; Funeral; Generation; John Sherman Cooper; Land; Letter; Liked; Lorraine Cooper; Mean; Newspaper columns; Note; Oldest; Phone call; Real estate; Rowan Companies; Sent; Son; Statue; Stay; Taking; Visit; Youngest

Subjects: Arlington National Cemetery (Arlington, Va.); Brothers; California; Cousins; Death; Farms; Flowers; Horses; Insurance; Interest; Letters; Money; Nieces; Politicians; Thoroughbreds; Twins; Value; Washington (D.C.); Wealth; Wishes; Young

01:16:58 - Lorraine Cooper as a political wife

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Partial Transcript: Some people were kind of skeptical about how Lorraine would adapt to Kentucky politics.

Segment Synopsis: Cooper considers Lorraine Cooper's role as a political wife and her influence on his brother's political career.

Keywords: Apartment; Appealing; Best men; Big role; Connections; Delegate; Dress; Effective; Enthusiastic; Formal; Happy life; Help; Image; Indian newspapers; Jawaharlal Nehru; John Sherman Cooper; Left; Lorraine Cooper; Met; Newspaper columns; No effect; Politics; Prediction; Receptions; Right; Talking; The Statesman (newspaper); Times of India; U.S. Ambassador to India; Vanderbilt Hotel (New York, N.Y.); Wedding announcement; Wedding date; Weekend

Subjects: Brothers; Business; Career; Charm; Experience; India; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Life; Long Island (N.Y.); Los Angeles times; Meetings; New Delhi (India); New York (N.Y.); New York times; Newspapers; Parties; People; Politicians; Pulaski County (Ky.); Social; Somerset (Ky.); Travel; United Nations; Washington (D.C.); Washington post; Wedding; Women; Writing

01:26:34 - Brother's independent nature

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Partial Transcript: Although he was independent.

Segment Synopsis: Cooper discusses his brother's independent nature and how that influenced his political career.

Keywords: Alben Barkley; Angry; Articles; Campaigns; Constituents; Defeats; Disliked; John Sherman Cooper; Kentucky Republicans; Not affected; Phone calls; Polite; Refused; Return; Senate; Senators; Stopped; Telephone number; Viable candidate; Virgil Chapman

Subjects: Brother; Independence; People; Personality; Politicians; Voting; Washington (D.C.)