Senator Alan Cranston (D-California)Posted: August 8, 2022
Served four terms in the US Senate.
As a young man he was sued by Adolf Hitler for publishing an unauthorized translation of Mein Kampf. (Cranston felt the existing translations expunged too much, hiding the true nature of Hitler’s thought).
In the wake of World War II, Mr. Cranston became a strong advocate for world government. In 1945, he published a book, ”The Killing of The Peace,” about how the League of Nations had been defeated in the United States Senate.
In 1947, he took over his father’s real estate firm in Palo Alto.
(from his obituary)
How did he get into office? He made a lot of money, and then he organized:
In 1952, Cranston co-founded the California Democratic Council (CDC), and served as chairman. Since that time, the CDC has served as an unofficial coalition of local Democratic clubs that coordinate electoral activities and activism throughout California. The CDC provided substantial support to Cranston in his bid for State Controller in 1958 and his numerous runs for the U.S. Senate.
The New York Times called Cranston a “bald, craggy-looking, none-too-charismatic man.”
While on his many political trips, Cranston would spend time sprinting in long hotel hallways to maintain his fitness.
He wanted to abolish nuclear weapons, an idea fellow California politician Ronald Reagan also had. Could they have done it?
Is Alan Cranston’s lasting legacy to history that the Eagles broke up after Glenn Frey and Don Felder erupted in a screaming match at one of his fundraisers, 1980?
On July 31, 1980, in Long Beach, California, tempers boiled over into what has been described as the “Long Night at Wrong Beach”. The animosity between Felder and Frey boiled over before the show began, when Felder said, “You’re welcome – I guess” to California Senator Alan Cranston‘s wife as the politician was thanking the band backstage for performing a benefit for his re-election. Frey and Felder spent the entire show telling each other about the beating each planned to administer backstage. “Only three more songs until I kick your ass, pal,” Frey recalled Felder telling him near the end of the band’s set. Felder recalls Frey telling him during “Best of My Love”, “I’m gonna kick your ass when we get off the stage.”
Alan Cranston used as a guide for leadership a quote by the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu, which he carried in his wallet for years:
A leader is best
When people barely know
That he exists,
Less good when
They obey and acclaim him,
They fear and despise him.
Fail to honor people
And they fail to honor you.
But of a good leader,
When his work is done,
His aim fulfilled,
they will all say,
‘We did this ourselves.’