Oral history interview with Gerry Frank [Sound Recording 09]

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Oral history interview with Gerry Frank [Sound Recording 09]


  • 1992-04-29 (Creation)


Audiocassette; 00:27:52

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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 6, 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 fourth and final interview session, conducted on April 29, 1992, Frank discusses the conditions that led to the sale of the Meier & Frank Department Store to the May Company in 1965. He describes the family divisions surrounding the sale. He then talks about resigning as manager of the Salem branch and the effect of the sale on the store’s personnel and customer base. He closes the interview by talking about his relationship with the management of the Meier & Frank Department Store at the time of the interview in 1992.

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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: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.

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  • eng

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25.5 MiB


February 3, 2021 2:56 PM

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