It's in the Blood! A Documentary History of Linus Pauling, Hemoglobin and Sickle Cell Anemia All Documents and Media  
Home | Search | Narrative | Linus Pauling Day-By-Day

All Documents and Media

Letter from Mary Clarke to Ava Helen Pauling. November 13, 1960.
Clarke writes to pass along the text of the introduction of Ava Helen that Clarke delivered the previous day at a "Women for Legislative Action" event.


November 13, 1960

[Handwritten:] Introduction at the Luncheon 12 November "Women for Legislative Action" 275 People, By Mary Clarke

Dear Helen,

In answer to your request:

A friend once asked Helen Pauling: "How is it that with all you've gone through, these last few years, your face is so serene?"

Helen answered: "Perhaps it's because we've done nothing wrong."

I would like to add that perhaps it's because they have done so much that is right.

Helen Pauling is the ideal Great Man's Wife. She keeps her husband physically and mentally nourished so that he can perform at his top capacity. But this is only one of her careers.

In her role as a mother she has raised four children who are outstanding examples of a remarkable collaboration that started when she was a student in a class instructed by Linus Pauling. He was busy with his research work but not too busy to note, and I quote: "I realized she was a pretty smart girl, which appealed to me, as well as being a very good looking girl which appealed to me, too." Their daughter and three sons have stayed in the science family and have brought eleven grandchildren into the Pauling fold. For ten years she has been a member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and now serves as a national vice-president. She also finds time to contribute her fine talents to the board of directors of the ACLU of Southern California.

1959 was a very busy year for the Paulings. They attended the Conference on World Cooperation and Disarmament in Australia, both speaking to huge audiences in Australia and New Zealand. They visited Dr. Schweitzer in Lamberene, and went on to the A and H Bomb Conference in Hiroshima. Again speaking to large meetings in Tokyo and Hiroshima. Then on to the International Congress of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom where Helen represented the United States membership.

You cannot separate the work of Helen and Linus Pauling. They work individually and collectively in an all out effort to preserve the peace and through this mankind.

Linus Pauling is a great man who casts a very large shadow but this remarkable woman casts her own. The Paulings don't stand in each others shadow, they walk in each others light.

I feel privileged to introduce to you the FIRST WOMAN OF PEACE, AVA HELEN PAULING.

Upon re-reading the introduction, I must say I like it, but also I hasten to add that one has to be inspired by a person or ideal to feel as I did when given the real pleasure of presenting you yesterday. See you upon your return. Until then, love to you and Linus.


Return to Document Page

Home | Search | Narrative | Linus Pauling Day-By-Day