Item SR1002_T05S1 - Oral history interview with Gerry Frank [Sound Recording 08]

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Oral history interview with Gerry Frank [Sound Recording 08]


  • 1991-12-21 (Creation)


Audiocassette; 00:02:49

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Biographical history

Gerald "Gerry" Wendell Frank was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1923. He attended Stanford University, where he enrolled in the Reserve Officer Training Program. He was called to active duty in the U.S. Army in 1943, and served in the European theater during World War II. During his Army training in California, he studied engineering at Loyola University. After his discharge in 1945, he remained in England and attended Cambridge University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in politics. After graduating, he returned to Portland and worked at the family business, the Meier & Frank department store. He opened and managed the Meier & Frank store in Salem, Oregon in 1955. After the sale of Meier & Frank in 1965, Frank became involved with Mark Hatfield's political career, eventually becoming the senator's chief of staff. In 1981, he opened a dessert shop in Salem called Gerry Frank's Konditorei. He was a longtime contributor to the Oregonian newspaper and also authored a guidebook entitled "Gerry Frank's Oregon."

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Tape 5, Side 1. This oral history interview with Gerry Frank was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Frank’s office in Salem, Oregon, from July 16, 1991, to April 29, 1992. The interview was conducted in four sessions. In the third interview session, conducted on December 21, 1991, Frank continues discussing the expansion of the Meier & Frank Department Store into Salem. He talks about managing the Salem branch from 1955 to 1965, including tailoring merchandise to the Salem community, his involvement in Salem community organizations, and his relationship with his employees. He also talks about the store’s seasonal events and his relationship with other Meier & Frank store managers.

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Copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA:

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  • eng

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2.6 MiB


February 3, 2021 2:56 PM

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