This oral history interview with Irvin "Irv" Herman Luiten was conducted by Jim Strassmaier from March 16, 1988, to January 19, 1990, at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon. In the interview, Luiten discusses his family background and early life on wheat farms in Ritzville and Edwall, Washington, including his early education and the struggles his family faced during the Great Depression. He then describes studying journalism at Washington State University in the late 1930s, including the evolution of his political views and his interest in radio broadcasting. He discusses his early career as a journalist for the Colville Examiner from 1940 to 1941 and for the Northwest Farm News in 1941. Luiten also talks extensively about his service during World War II, including acting as defense counsel for his battalion and about soldier morale. He talks about his work with the Military Intelligence Service to teach escape and evasion tactics to airmen and setting up lines of escape in France.
Next, he describes his post-war life, including taking the editorship of the Northwest Farm News; marrying Ellen Boyde and raising a family; taking a job at Washington State University; and beginning his career with the Weyerhaeuser Company, doing public relations work as a writer for Weyerhaeuser News. He talks about aspects of Weyerhaeuser that made him loyal to the company, including the company's forest management practices and the management style of Phil Weyerhaeuser. Luiten also describes his experiences as a lobbyist for Weyerhaeuser from 1953 to 1978. He talks about the primary issues Weyerhauser was concerned with, including taxes, particularly timber taxes; pollution; land use; environmental law; and labor laws. Luiten also discusses his involvement with the Izaak Walton League of America and his conservation work; the Clemons Tree Farm; the workplace culture at Weyerhaeuser; and the company's relationship with the public. He goes on to talk about working with lobbyists for other Oregon timber interests, the different timber harvesting philosophies between Weyerhaeuser and Georgia-Pacific, and how those philosophies affected the economy of the state. He speaks at length on the importance of public relations work. He also discusses working with legislators such as Mark Hatfield, Dick Neuberger, Clarence Barton, Dick Eymann, and Vic Atiyeh. He closes the interview by talking about his life in retirement.
Luiten, Irvin H. (Irvin Herman), 1915-1997