We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
David Schine was born on 11th September, 1927. His father was the owner of the Schine Hotel Corporation. Educated at Harvard University he produced a six pamphlet on the dangers of Communism that was distributed free to those staying at his father's hotels. In the Definition of Communism, Schine argued that the Communist Party was guilty of "stealing words, such as freedom, security, and equality from the Bible, and other good covenants to confuse issues, and deceive the mind into ensnarement."
Schine was very friendly with the anti-communist lawyer, Roy Cohn. In 1951 Joseph McCarthy appointed Cohn as the chief counsel to the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate. Soon afterwards, Cohn recruited Schine to become his chief consultant.
For some time opponents of Joseph McCarthy had been accumulating evidence concerning his homosexual relationships. Rumours began to circulate that Schine and Roy Cohn were having a sexual relationship. Although well-known by political journalists, it did not become public until Hank Greenspun published an article in the Las Vagas Sun in 25th October, 1952.
Joseph McCarthy considered a libel suit against Greenspun but decided against it when he was told by his lawyers that if the case went ahead he would have to take the witness stand and answer questions about his sexuality. In an attempt to stop the rumours circulating, McCarthy married his secretary, Jeannie Kerr. Later the couple adopted a five-week old girl from the New York Foundling Home.
In October, 1953, McCarthy began investigating communist infiltration into the military. Attempts were made by McCarthy to discredit Robert Stevens, the Secretary of the Army. The president, Dwight Eisenhower, was furious and now realised that it was time to bring an end to McCarthy's activities.
The United States Army retaliated by passing information about Joseph McCarthy to journalists known to be opposed to him. This included the news that Roy Cohn had abused congressional privilege by trying to prevent Schine from being drafted. When that failed, it was claimed that Cohn tried to pressurize the Army to grant Schine special privileges. The well-known newspaper columnist, Drew Pearson, published the story on 15th December, 1953.
After serving in the United States Army Schine returned to the family business. He married a former Miss Sweden and became involved in show business. As well as acting in Batman (1966) he produced two movies, The French Connection (1971) and That's Action (1977).
On 19th June, 1996, David Schine, his wife and son perished in an air-crash in California. The single-engine plane, piloted by Schine's son, crashed shortly after taking off from Burbank Airport.
Roy Cohn''s infatuation with G. David Schine
Roy Cohn had brought aboard the McCarthy team, as an unpaid special investigator, one G. David Schine, the rich young handsome blond son of a hotel-chain operator.Mr. Schine's only qualification for the job was that he had written an amateurish tract entitled 'Definition of Communism' and published it with his own money. Not even McCarthy knew why he was there. He only kept him on to make Cohn happy. McCarthy seemed to think that Cohn, in addition to being bright and energetic, was highly organized, tightly wound, cool and disciplined as well.
He wasn't. What baby autocrat would live like that? Cohn and Mr. Schine proceeded to become a pair of bold-faced characters in the gossip columns, two boys out on the town, throwing a party that stretched from the Stork Club in New York to various dives, high and low, in Paris - where they arrived during a disastrous European tour, supposedly to monitor the work of United States Government libraries abroad. The European press mocked them unmercifully, depicting them as a pair of nitwit children.
What did Cohn see in Mr. Schine? Almost immediately there were rumors that they were lovers and even that McCarthy himself was in on the game. Cohn's obsession with Mr. Schine, in light of what became known about Cohn in the 1980's, is one thing. But so far as Mr. Schine is concerned, there has never been the slightest evidence that he was anything but a good-looking kid who was having a helluva good time in a helluva good cause. In any event, the rumors were sizzling away when the Army-McCarthy hearings, the denouement of Joe McCarthy's career, got under way in 1954. (Tom Wolfe)
"But so far as Mr. Schine is concerned, there has never been the slightest evidence that he was anything but a good-looking kid who was having a helluva good time in a helluva good cause."
Other than the evidence of every word and circumstance relating to "Mr. Schine." When did Tom Wolfe become such a numb-nuts?
If you pay attention, older people can be the source of gossip they never knew they had. This last X-mas eve my uncle, who went into the military in the 50s, started talking about this absolutely useless asshole who was in his regiment. He said the high Officers always got this guy out of even the slightest commonplace job. This guy dined with the officers but barely deigned to talk to the members of the Troupe (Battalon? Military hierarchy isn't my gig) he was nominally assigned to.
When pressed he said "It was that guy McCarthy tried to keep out of the Army. It was a big deal at the time. We barely ever saw the guy."
Like many conservatives, Wolfe sees what he wants to and covers his eyes the rest of the time.
Read Thomas Mallon's wonderful novel Fellow Travelers which has these figures as background characters in a fictional gay romance of two government guys of the period.
In 1957, G. David Schine married the Swedish Miss Universe and they had six children. He never spoke publicly about McCarthy or Cohn again.
Schine's sister married the son of Henry Crown, one of the richest men in America. the Schines blew through their money. The Crown's are multibillionaires. Schines Mother sold her 18 room apartment on Fifth Ave. to Sid and Mercedes Bass for 10,000,000 nearly 2o years ago. Schine died in a private plane crash a few years later.
Anti-communism and Army–McCarthy hearings [ edit | edit source ]
In 1952 Schine published a six-page anti-communist pamphlet called Definition of Communism, ⎖] and had a copy placed in every room of his family's chain of hotels. ⎗] Although the pamphlet contained many errors, Time magazine called the pamphlet "remarkably succinct." Α] ⎘] The pamphlet introduced Schine to Roy Cohn through newspaper columnist George Sokolsky, and the two became friends. ⎙] Cohn at that time was Senator Joseph McCarthy's chief counsel, and he brought Schine onto McCarthy's staff as an unpaid "chief consultant". McCarthy era opponents of Communism sought to stamp out pro-Communist material. Schine and Cohn conducted a much-criticised tour of Europe in 1953, examining libraries of the United States Information Agency for books written by authors they deemed to be Communists or fellow travelers. ⎚] ⎛] Die Welt of Hamburg called them Schnüffler or snoops. ⎜] Theodore Kaghan, Deputy Director of the Public Affairs Division in the Office of the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany and a target of the Committee, called them "junketeering gumshoes." ⎝]
In November 1953, Schine was drafted into the United States Army as a private. ⎞] Cohn immediately began a campaign to obtain special privileges for Schine. Cohn met with and made repeated telephone calls to military officials from the Secretary of the Army down to Schine's company commander. He asked that Schine be given a commission, which the Army refused due to Schine's lack of qualifications, and that Schine be given light duties, extra leave and not be assigned overseas. At one point, Cohn was reported to have threatened to "wreck the Army" if his demands were not met. ⎟] During the Army-McCarthy Hearings of 1954, the Army charged Cohn and McCarthy with using improper pressure to influence the Army, while McCarthy and Cohn counter-charged that the Army was holding Schine "hostage" in an attempt to squelch McCarthy's investigations into Communists in the Army.
The hearings were broadcast live using the relatively new medium of television and were viewed by an estimated 20 million people. Just prior to the hearings, Schine and Cohn appeared on the cover of TIME on March 22, 1954, under the banner "McCarthy and His Men". ⎠]
Schine and Cohn were rumored to have a sexual relationship, although there has never been any proof of this. More recently, some historians have concluded that the two were merely friends, and that Schine was heterosexual. ⎡] ⎢] During this period, Schine was linked romantically with some actresses, including Rhonda Fleming and Piper Laurie. ⎣] Cohn's homosexuality later became public and he died of AIDS in 1986. ⎤]
The Army–McCarthy hearings absolved McCarthy of any direct wrongdoing, blaming Cohn alone. The exposure of McCarthy and his methods before a television audience, however, is widely considered the beginning of the end of his career. ⎥] Roy Cohn resigned from McCarthy's staff shortly after the hearings. ⎦]
Crash Kills G. David Schine, 69, McCarthy-Era Figure
G. David Schine, a catalytic figure in the fierce drama that brought to a climax the chapter in American history known as the McCarthy era, was killed on Wednesday when a single-engine plane piloted by his son Berndt crashed shortly after takeoff from Burbank, Calif.
Mr. Schine, who was 69 and lived in Los Angeles, died with his wife, Hillevi, 64, and their son, 35. No one else was aboard the plane.
Mr. Schine's military service was central to the 36 days of testimony and argument that riveted hundreds of thousands of people to their television sets in the spring of 1954 to watch the Army-McCarthy hearings, which were unfolding in the marble-columned caucus room of the Senate Office Building in Washington.
The hearings proved to be not only a defining moment in the climate of postwar American politics but also an illustration of the immense power of the new medium of television to shape opinion.
To this day, those who witnessed the spectacle can recall Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, the Communist-hunting Republican from Wisconsin, demanding: "Point of order! Point of order, Mr. Chairman!"
They can see Mr. Schine's friend Roy M. Cohn, the sharp, aggressive chief counsel to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations -- the so-called McCarthy Committee -- whispering behind his hand to the Senator.
And they can hear Joseph N. Welch, the Dickensian Boston lawyer who represented the Senator's adversary, the Army, admonishing him in the moment that defined his undoing: "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?"
The answer to the question that the hearings were intended to resolve -- whether Senator McCarthy had employed undue pressure in an unsuccessful effort to win an officer's commission for Mr. Schine, an unpaid investigative aide of his who had been drafted -- proved inconclusive.
But Senator McCarthy's conduct during the hearings, including his abusive questioning of Robert T. Stevens, Secretary of the Army, led to a vote of censure against him by the Senate on Dec. 2, 1954. The power he had wielded during his unrestrained hunts for Communists in America was broken, and he died less than three years later. Mr. Cohn and Mr. Welch also predeceased Mr. Schine.
Gerard David Schine, born in Gloversville, N.Y., in 1927, was a graduate of Andover and Harvard (class of 1949) and the languid-looking heir to a hotel fortune when Mr. Cohn brought him to work for the investigations committee, headed by Senator McCarthy, in the spring of 1953.
That summer Mr. Schine, as the committee's chief consultant, and Mr. Cohn were dispatched to Europe by the Senator to inquire into "subversion" in the offices of American agencies there. They seemed comic and callow, and were pursued by British correspondents who chanted a parody of an old vaudeville routine: "Positively, Mr. Cohn! Absolutely, Mr. Schine!"
But they spread fear through embassies and consulates, and some officials lost their jobs because the Cohn-Schine team found detective stories by a pro-Communist writer on the shelves of one Federal agency, the International Information Administration.
In the fall of 1953, when Mr. Schine was drafted, the committee was in the midst of an acrimonious investigation of alleged Communist infiltration of the Army Communications Center at Fort Monmouth, N.J.
The Army contended that Mr. Cohn, Senator McCarthy and others had used pressure to demand that Private Schine be given a commission and other preferential treatment. The Senator retorted that the Army was using Private Schine as a "hostage" and that Secretary Stevens had tried to "blackmail" the committee into dropping its Fort Monmouth inquiry by threatening to publicize Mr. Cohn's activities on Mr. Schine's behalf.
On March 16, 1954, the committee voted to create a special subcommittee -- with another Senator, Karl E. Mundt, Republican of North Dakota, as chairman -- to look into the dispute. The stage was set for a tempestuous spectacle.
The ABC and DuMont television networks decided to carry the hearings live when they began on April 22, and by the time they ended on June 17 had transmitted 187 hours of coverage to an audience that sometimes numbered 20 million. One hundred twenty newspaper and magazine reporters were assigned to the hearings. The Associated Press later said that it had carried more than a million words about them, and The New York Times printed complete transcripts. Thirty witnesses testified, and the Capitol police estimated that 115,000 people attended.
There was testimony that Private Schine had gone absent without leave from Fort Dix, N.J., that he had been released from drills to accept hundreds of phone calls and that he had received passes every weekend and holiday during basic training. When the hearings began, he was transferred to Fort Myer, Va., near Washington, for the duration. He himself testified briefly, concerning the authenticity of a disputed photograph that purported to show him alone with Secretary Stevens.
When he left the Army in 1955 after two years of service that had eventually led him to a military police unit in Anchorage and elevated him only to the rank of corporal, the 28-year-old Mr. Schine said he was finished with politics and investigations of communism. He said he would devote himself to the hotel business.
For a time he served as president of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, part of the $150 million coast-to-coast theater, hotel and real estate empire of his father, J. Myer Schine. After some of the properties had been sold, Mr. Schine continued to maintain ties with the remaining enterprises. He became involved in film making, achieving success in 1971 as the executive producer of the Oscar-winning thriller "The French Connection." He also produced records.
In 1977, he and Mr. Cohn, maintaining that they had been defamed by a television movie about Senator McCarthy called "Tailgunner Joe," sued Universal Studios and NBC for $40 million. A New York appellate court ruled that they had no case.
In recent years Mr. Schine dabbled in the arts. Semi-retired, he was developing "Saturday Matinee," a compilation of clips from his library of Republic Studios films, and was planning a stage production of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." When he died, he was on his way to Palo Alto, Calif., to look at a theater for it.
In 1957, Mr. Schine married Hillevi A. K. Rombin, a native of Aofta, Sweden, who was a Swedish national decathlon champion before becoming Miss Universe of 1955. The couple leave five children: Mark, the twin of Berndt Vidette Perry, Kevin, Axel and Lance. Also surviving are four grandchildren.
Visual materials in the Archives do not circulate and must be viewed in the Society's Archives Research Room.
For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:
Wisconsin Historical Society Citation Wisconsin Historical Society, Creator, Title, Image ID. Viewed online at (copy and paste image page link). Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research Citation Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, Creator, Title, Image ID. Viewed online at (copy and paste image page link).
Schine Found Respect After Past Scandal
By the time he died in a plane crash alongside the Golden State Freeway, G. David Schine had fashioned a respected career a continent away from the Washington hearing rooms where he had been part of a scandal that eventually toppled communist-hunting Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
Schine’s resume included stints as Los Angeles hotelier, executive producer of the film “The French Connection,” record producer and chairman of a company that developed the technology to sharpen color television.
“Another page in history has turned,” said Jack Fox, 67, of Sherman Oaks, who as a reporter for the New York Post turned a tip from one of Schine’s disgruntled fellow GIs into the first story on the Schine case more than 40 years ago. “Out of the famous three [including McCarthy and Roy Cohn] at that time, he was the only one left.”
Fox said he followed Schine’s career through the newspapers after he moved out to Los Angeles.
“I’ve watched with some interest,” said Fox. “After he got separated out of the McCarthy/Cohn mess, he handled himself with dignity. I never saw anything which connected him with extreme right-wing causes.”
Schine, 69, was also a pilot, but it was unclear whether he was at the controls of the Beechcraft Sundowner that crashed Wednesday, shortly after takeoff from Burbank Airport. Also killed in the crash were his wife, former Miss Universe Hillevi Schine, 64, and their son, Frederick Berndt Schine, 34, a former Bush Administration official.
The elder Schine once operated the Schine Inns hotel chain, and also ran the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He produced records by the pop group The DeFranco Family in the 1970s, and even in retirement continued to dabble in entertainment and production, said Hal Dash, a family spokesman. Schine was preparing an anthology of old Republic Studios newsreels and films for a series called “Saturday Matinee.”
Schine was also formerly chairman and president of High Resolution Sciences Inc., which developed the technology to correct the imperfection in color television displays known as chroma crawl, which manifests itself as dots moving constantly upward on the screen.
Schine was launched onto the national stage in 1954 as a result of allegations that as a private in the Army, he received special favors arranged by McCarthy and his right-hand man, Roy Cohn. Schine had been a staffer on McCarthy’s Investigations Subcommittee, McCarthy’s platform for his much-criticized national campaign to cleanse America of what he alleged were hidden communist influences.
The subsequent investigation into the favoritism charges helped bring McCarthy down.
Ironically, one of McCarthy’s prime targets was Hollywood, where Schine would later make his mark as a businessman and entertainer.
At the time of the scandal, Schine “was a very, very young man, immature, and there was a chance to become powerful . . . once he had seen what that caused, I can’t speak for what was in his mind, but his actions seemed to show he put that behind him and made a life,” Fox said.
The younger Schine flew into Burbank from Riverside on Wednesday to pick up his parents for a two-day trip to the Bay Area. They planned to scout theater locations for a revival of the play, “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde,” which the elder Schine intended to produce, Dash said.
The son, called Berndt by his family, was a licensed pilot who worked as chief of staff for the district office of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and headed the California branch of GOPAC, Newt Gingrich’s fund-raising committee, Dash said. Rohrabacher’s office declined to comment.
Family members were in seclusion Thursday.
Federal air safety officials said the cause of the crash could take six months to determine and remained under investigation Thursday.
Investigators were trying to figure out, among other things, whether engine failure was a factor, since the propeller was not turning when the plane hit the freeway embankment just north of the airport. It appeared that the plane was carrying plenty of fuel before the crash, officials said.
Thomas Wilcox, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said the aircraft had 50 gallons of fuel when it left Riverside, more than enough to reach both Burbank and then Palo Alto, the ultimate destination.
Jack Kemmerly, the California representative of the Maryland-based Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assn., estimated that a small plane such as the Beechcraft Sundowner might burn about four gallons of fuel in the half-hour flight from Riverside to Burbank.
It was impossible to tell how much fuel remained at the time of the crash because the tanks were damaged by impact with utility poles just before the crash. Leaked fuel would have quickly evaporated, Wilcox said.
Despite his hard-earned success in business, it was Schine’s youthful career as an anti-communist crusader that caused critics to label him McCarthy’s “junketeering gumshoe.”
While working for the McCarthy subcommittee, Schine, a Harvard graduate, and himself the son of a hotel chain owner, had traveled around Europe in 1952, visiting U.S.-sponsored libraries looking for subversive books.
His congressional job was no shield from the draft, and like so many young men of that Cold War era, he wound up in the Army as a private, where critics said he was given special favors. One man who served with Schine in the 47th Infantry Regiment at Ft. Dix recalled that Schine was the only private who had a limo sent to pick him up in the bivouac area at lunchtime.
After the Army charged that McCarthy and Cohn used undue influence to smooth Schine’s path, the Wisconsin senator alleged that the Army was packed with communist sympathizers.
McCarthy’s abuse of Army Secretary Robert T. Stevens during the nationally televised hearings by his subcommittee eventually led to his condemnation by the Senate and his political downfall.
Schine’s wife, Hillevi Rombin, a native of Alfta, Sweden, who won both the Swedish heptathlon and Miss Universe contest in 1956, met her future husband in San Francisco, according to Dash.
In recent years, she worked for charitable causes and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She also designed women’s shoes, taking out a patent on several models. At the museum, she did volunteer work in the department that acquires historic clothing.
Former neighbor Mia Scott described a storybook match between Schine and the Swedish beauty queen. “He was the rich, handsome American millionaire, like a fairy tale.”
Their son, a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, returned to Los Angeles after working in Washington, D.C. for the Reagan and Bush administrations. He was still in his early 20s when he ran the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Energy.
At the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Division, where he was a reserve officer, Frederick Schine served in the patrol, detective and fugitive details, said his supervisor, Officer Peter Repovich. Schine was named Reserve Officer of the Year for the Hollywood Division in 1994.
“It was an easy choice,” said Repovich, whom the younger Schine talked into running, unsuccessfully, for a state Assembly seat in 1994.
Repovich called the Schine family “very nice people. Obviously they came from wealth, but they weren’t the type of people to flaunt it. Very nice, down to earth. Very close family. They were the type of people who would get together on a Sunday in Santa Monica, meet in a nice restaurant and spend some time together, then go out and lie on the beach. Not a lot of families do that today.”
The elder Schines are survived by five children--Vidette Perry, 37 Mark, 35 Kevin, Frederick’s twin, 34 Axel, 32, and Lance, 30--and four grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Commenting about his McCarthyite past in a 1975 interview, the elder Schine said, “I didn’t think we were doing enough in this country to express our ideals and objectives. I just did it to serve my country.”
Johnson is a Times staff writer and Riccardi a correspondent. Staff writers Andrew Blankstein and Efrain Hernandez Jr. contributed to this story.
G. David Schine American Film/TV Producer
G. David Schine was previously married to Hillevi Rombin (1957 - 1996) .
G. David Schine was in relationships with Joanna Barnes (1957) , Piper Laurie (1955 - 1956) , Laurette Luez (1954) and Rhonda Fleming.
G. David Schine had encounters with Dorothy Malone (1956) , Gita Hall (1954) and Mary Murphy (1952) .
American Film/TV Producer G. David Schine was born Gerard David Schine on 11th September, 1927 in Gloversville, New York and passed away on 19th Jun 1996 Los Angeles, California, USA aged 68. He is most remembered for The French Connection (1971) (executive producer). His zodiac sign is Virgo.
G. David Schine is a member of the following lists: McCarthyism, American film producers and American Jews.
Help us build our profile of G. David Schine! Login to add information, pictures and relationships, join in discussions and get credit for your contributions.
|Dating||4||10 months, 5 days||3 months, 17 days||1 month, 1 day|
|Married||1||38 years, 11 months||-||-|
|Encounter||3||2 months, 1 day||1 month||1 month|
|Total||8||38 years, 11 months||5 years||1 month|
|Full Name at Birth||Gerard David Schine|
|Age||68 (age at death) years|
|Birthday||11th September, 1927|
|Birthplace||Gloversville, New York|
|Died||19th June, 1996|
|Place of Death||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Cause of Death||plane crash|
|Buried||Westwood Village Cemetery|
|High School||Phillips Academy|
|University||Harvard University (1949)|
|Claim to Fame||The French Connection (1971) (executive producer)|
|Friend||Roy M. Cohn|
Gerard David Schine, better known as G. David Schine or David Schine (September 11, 1927 – June 19, 1996), was the wealthy heir to a hotel chain fortune who became a central figure in the Army–McCarthy hearings of 1954 in his role as the chief consultant to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
Schine at Harvard: Boy With the Baton
In Washington today, eight Senators, many high-priced legal brains and hordes of top Army brass will move wearily into the third week of their seemingly endless wrangle over the military career of a 26-year-old private named Gerard David Schine. To many it seems incredible that the fortunes of this young man should demand the sustained attention of such an array of talent, and should obsess the nation by press and TV. But to most of those who knew Dave Schine '49 at Harvard it is no surprise.
In his years, here this big, blond sleepy-looking boy had one all-consuming interest: the life and times of G. David Schine. Almost all those who knew him find the present battle over special privileges in the Army perfectly consistent with their reconstructed picture of him. Says one, "Dave lived for himself and was intensely ambitions. He thought he was pretty special and thought he ought to get special favors. He may have had a code of ethics, but it was a code we knew nothing about."
Everyone with whom he came in contact here, including his friends, agrees that Schine's main trouble was his money. He had plenty of it as the son of J. Myer Schine, multi-millionaire owner of the Schine Hotel chain which includes such luxury hostelries as the Roney Plaza in Miami and the Ambassador in Los Angeles. The family also owns several radio stations and 150 movie theatres.
Made Wealth a Disadvantage
Such wealth is not necessarily a disadvantage, but in many ways it was to Dave Schine since he began sharing in huge chunks of it very early in life. While still at Harvard, Dave became vice-president of the chain and apparently oversaw a large part of it from his Adams House room. Upon graduation, at the age of 22, he was made president and general manager.
Wealth, of course, is not out of place here, but Schine, certainly one of the richest men in his class, made it so. He lived in a style which went out here with the era of the Gold Coast: and exquisitely furnished room, a valet, a big black convertible equipped with a two-way phone-radio, and a fabulous electronic piano with built-in radio and phonograph. Nobody seems to know exactly what his allowance was while he was here, but he always had plenty of money to spend.
Most important, however, was his super-consciousness of being wealthy. Donald G. Colley '49, his roommate his second term in Adams, says, "Dave was always very distrustful of everybody. He never made any friends because he always seemed to feel that people were nice to him only because of his money. Maybe somebody took advantage of him once and ever since he's been suspicious of people's motives."
Others point out that Schine seemed unable to forget his money. He used to flaunt his wealth a great deal. One roommate remembers his coming into the room saying, "I'm signing a check for $3,000. Have you ever signed a check for that much?" Another remembers him carrying a suitcase with $1,100 in it through the Yard, "just for fun."
But money for Schine was not merely money. It meant influence and power, and this was apparently what he craved. His roommates remember that he was always talking about what he could do with his influence and money, and seemed constantly bent on demonstrating this.
"He was obsessed with the idea of being a big shot," says Herbert Fisher '49, his first roommate in Adams." He loved to be given special attention and to be thought influential and one of his favorite ways of demonstrating it to others was to walk into one of the Schine hotels, ask and get special treatment."
Wanted Special Privileges
Schine apparently felt that his wealth and position as president of the hotel chain meant that he deserved special privileges. Perhaps the most important of these, which embroiled him in quite a row with the University and Adams House administrations, was his demand that he be allowed to have a private secretary to handle his business. Schine asked permission for the secretary to have a key and be allowed to enter and leave the House at will any time during the day. This request was denied by Headmaster David M. Little, who said that Schine could have the secretary up to his room any time he wished during parictal hours, but that he would not be granted any special privileges. Wilbur J. Bender, then Dean of the College, became involved in the controversy when he declared, in accordance with University regulations, that Schine could not use his room as an office. He could have the secretary up during parietal hours to type letters for him, but he could not use his room as his business address.
It was later discovered that Schine used his secretary for academic purposes too. She attended his classes for him and took notes in shorthand which she later typed out. He also had a neat system for taking reading notes, reading important passages into his dictaphone for typing by the secretary later.
Leaves College in 1946
It took Schine some time to latch on to this method. Until then he apparently had some difficulty with getting his work done, so much difficulty in fact that he was forced to leave college in the spring of 1946. There is some question about whether he actually flunked out or left by some sort of mutual agreement with the college. Those who knew him say his grades that first year were almost all D's and E's. Apparently they were not so bad that the college gave up on him, however, because he was readmitted in the fall of '47.
Schine spent that off year in the Army Transport Service. On his reapplication to Adams House he said he was a "lieutenant in the Army," but this was not so. He had the "simulated rank of lieutenant" which apparently meant that he had the same pay scale as a lieutenant, but he was only a civilian. His actual job, according to Colley, was that of an assistant purser on an Army transport.
In Schine's first year at Harvard--he entered in the summer session of 1945--he attracted little attention. He lived in B-entry of Winthrop, which was then used as a Freshman dormitory. In the spring of 1946 he moved to Adams and roomed with Herbert Fisher in C-37, but still attracted relatively little notice. It was not until his return to college after the year off that he began to give rise to the series of stories which make up the Schine legend.
In his application to Adams, Schine had asked for a single room, giving as his reason the fact that his work suffered if he had roommates. But because of the crowded post-war conditions he was put in a converted double with Colley. It took only a short while for Colley and everybody on the floor to begin disliking him intensely. One thing that irked them most was his "masquerading as a veteran." Says Joseph Blundon '49, "We were all veterans and his pretending to be one went over like a lead balloon."
Schine soon complained to Headmaster Little that nobody was speaking to him and Little asked his roommates to be a little nicer to him. "We tried," said Colley, "but he made it impossible."
Finally in the spring of '48 Schine was moved to a single room, Adams G-43, where he stayed for the rest of his college career.
One story, told by Colley and repeated by several other people, may be partially apocryphal, but it indicates the sort of flamboyant act which is constantly associated with him by all his old acquaintances.
Schine had ordered his fantastic electronic piano, called a DynaTone, from the Ansley Radio Corporation in Trenton, New Jersey. Colley describes this strange instrument as having strings like a regular piano whose vibrations were reproduced by vacuum tubes and played through an amplifier instead of sounding directly. The same amplifier could also be used for a radio and phonograph which were set into one side of the piano. With this arrangement the piano could be played with either the radio or phonograph through a series of microphones in the piano. Colley also seems to remember a cabinet for a TV set, although Schine did not have one since there was no television station in Boston at that time. The whole thing was finished in bright white.
Colley describes the arrival of this instrument late one spring afternoon. The thing was so difficult to move that a permit had to be obtained to block off Plympton Street for a short time. The movers apparently felt that the piano could not be moved five flights up to Schine's room that evening but he reportedly insisted, promising to pay them overtime. The movers agreed, but after moving it about half way they told Schine that even if they got it up there that night he would not be able to play it since it would need to be installed by a technician. Incensed, so the story goes, Schine rushed to his room, got on the phone, called Mr. Ansley in Trenton, and told him that he wanted a technician immediately. After some argument, Ansley agreed and a technician grabbed a plane, installed the piano, and flew back again. With the piano installed, Schine sat down, ran his fingers along the keyboard and said "Well, I guess I'll go to bed."
This story, says Colley, illustrates Schine's attitude. "He always insisted he could do anything he wanted. He could too, you know. The word Schine always seemed to work magic. He could always get plane reservations which nobody else could get. But this power gave him an awful contemptuous air--a "You're the sucker' attitude."
Obsessed With Power
This assessment is supported by a Radcliffe girl whom Schine dated frequently. She describes how Schine was obsessed with power and the contrast between the strong and the weak. She tells of a paper which he wrote for a Human Relations course that he took. The paper was supposed to describe a concrete situation of human interaction, and Schine chose a real conflict with his roommate and the other men on the floor. It seems that all the others on the floor were extremely good friends, very gregarious, and liked to have the fire doors on the floor left open. But not Schine. He objected and asked Dr. Little, to have them closed. He was not successful.
Schine chose this conflict for the theme of his paper. He described the conflict between the "strong roommate" who wanted the fire-door closed and the "weak roommate" who wanted it open. The strong one won out in the end, of course. Schine's section man gave him a bad mark on the paper and commented that the "strong roommate" was probably in need of psychiatric help.
Schine's obsession with the question of power is also illustrated by his strange preoccupation with Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. In his days in Adams he used to say over and over again that this was his "favorite book" because it illustrated the importance of power and what a sham altruism was. He used to have long intense discussions with this girl on the subject, but she never succeeded in arguing him out of his position.
She also says that Schine was naturally a rather gregarious person, but that when he found difficulty in getting along with others he began to rationalize until he insisted that he did not need friends. "He liked to be thought of as a mysterious loner, somebody nobody knew very much. He wanted people to point him out and say "There goes that mysterious Schine guy.'"
But if he did not want friends he certainly did not get them. Fisher says, "I can't remember anyone who was disliked by so many people. He had a host of enemies. But Schine never lot on that this bothered him. He never seemed very concerned about anything that went on at Harvard. His interests were elsewhere and he never even spent much time in Adams."
Schine rarely ate in Adams, preferring Boston hotels, particularly the Statler. In his last two years he spent most of his weekends in New York, and, according to one roommate, had a room reserved at the Waldorf Astoria. Much of his activity on these weekends was reportedly devoted to either chasing or being chased by women, most of them show-girls. On one occasion he even chased as far as Hollywood, where he had some well-publicized flirtatious with one of Joan Bennett's daughters and starlet Piper Laurie.
With all this extra-curricular activity, Schine's academic work obviously suffered badly. G. David never took this side of life very seriously. His roommates say he was "quite intelligent but never used what he had." He started off majoring in Economics, because, according to one friend, "he was going to enter his father's business and wanted to have a background." While in Ec, he took Accounting, Money and Banking and Schumpeter's course in the Economics of Socialism, in addition to the full-year elementary course. Then, for some reason or other, Schine turned to Government and specialized in International Relations. In this field he took a course in International Law, an Introduction to International Relations, another in Internation Politics and one in American Foreign Policy since 1935, plus Government 1a and 1b. In addition he took Professor Karpovich's course in the History of Russia since 1800 and President Conant's General Education course in The Growth of Experimental Science.
One of the myths about Schine has been that he was an honors candidate and did his thesis on Psychological Warfare. This story was apparently originated when Schine was working on the investigation of the Voice of America. There appears to be absolutely no foundation for it. As far as is known he was never an honors candidate, and he never got an honors degree.
Another myth about Schine is that he was intensely interested in politics here. Most of his friends say they never heard him discuss politics. One girl who knew him said, "When his name came up as a consultant to the McCarthy committee, I was really amazed that he ended up in politics. When I knew him he was interested in music, art and literature. But I never heard him talk about politics." Schine never was a member of a student political organization.
This apparent lack of interest in politics during college is somewhat puzzling. For in 1952, only three years after he graduated, Schine wrote and circulated a pamphlet called "Definition of Communism" in which he warned of the menace and urged that "positive" counter steps be taken against Communism. Among these he listed the Marshall Plan, U.N. resistance in Korea, the North Atlantic Treaty and the Voice of America. This pamphlet was printed in large quantities and distributed on the bureaus of all his hotels.
Where exactly Schine's knowledge of Communism came from is an open question. His academic study of the subject here was restricted to the Russian history course and the course in the Economics of Socialism. He may have done reading on the subject, but his roommates say they rarely saw him studying, much less reading. He did read the newspapers, however, and Colley recalls that Schine studied for one exam in Government exclusively by reading news stories and editorials in Boston papers.
Schine's lack of participation in student political activity was part of a general lack of interest in extracurricular groups, the only significant exception being his sojourn in the band.
Two years ago at the Yale game, Peter Strauss '54 was warming the band up in front of Memorial Hall, when a "big, bruising guy came up to see me and said 'I feel like a proud papa seeing how the band has grown.'" Strauss asked him why, and Schine said, "Well I was responsible for getting the band started again after the war and it was I who persuaded Mal Holmes to start conducting it again."
As band members of that time remember it, Schine could validly make the first but not the second claim. He was largely responsible for starting the band after the war. But he was never official manager. His most exalted moment was the Yale game of '45 when he did conduct the band. But when he came to run for the official position of manager in the spring of '46 he was defeated by Tom Howard '47, even though he campaigned by promising the band all sorts of financial help. After his defeat he quit the band, petulantly refusing even to play the cymbais which was his instrument.
Schine's interest in the band was part of a real interest in music. While he was here he wrote songs and published at least two, "All of My Loves" and "Please Say Yes, or its Goodbye."
Schine is reported to have made frequent trips to New York during which he attempted to persuade band leaders to play his songs. Several did, particularly those who played in his father's hotels.
His social life here was rather strange. He didn't date many Radcliffe girls, apparently preferring visiting celebrities, starlets, showgirls, models. According to the Adams House superintendent who knew him well, Schine got many telephone calls and telegrams from different girls. He reports Schine had a particular preference for airline stewardesses. Others say Schine loved to be seen with beautiful women. Schine's father was always afraid that he would get married while at college, but one girl who went out with him dismisses this possibility. "Dave certainly wasn't the type to get involved with a girl."
Schine did considerable entertaining himself at a suite in the Statler, but his Boston social life was somewhat limited. At the beginning he was invited to many socially prominent homes, but according to one person who knew him, Schine alienated many of his hosts by pulling his "telephone trick." This consisted of phoning from his car and saying "This is G. David Schine, I'm now driving through Copley Square, could you direct me a little further" and then later "This is G. David Schine, I'm now at Kenmore Square. Could you give me more directions please."
Despite such antics, most people agree that he could be quite socially mature and was remarkably urbane, poised and glib for his age. Almost everybody agrees that he rarely if ever lost control of himself. He was a fastidious dresser, although salesmen at J. Press, where be bought most of his clothes, remember him as "Not our type of dresser more the 'California' type."
One thing universally said is that he very much appreciated things done for him and always remembered favors. He was very generous with people who had done things for him (though he never extended this to his class fund to which he has never given) and usually remembered them at Christmas with packages of fruit from the Wiggins Tavern in Northampton which is owned by the Schine chain.
And yet few people genuinely liked him. The only three who could be located are Pete and Charlie of the Crimson Men's Shop, who both remember him as a "really nice fellow," and Tony Vento, the Adams House janitor who served as Schine's valet.
Vento, now an assistant superintendent of PBH, got to know Schine very well and did a lot of work for him, took his clothes to the cleaners, and did odd jobs. They became quite close friends, and Schine visited Vento's house for dinner several times.
Vento remembers him as a "Great fellow. He was never stuck-up. He spoke well of everybody, and was friendly with everybody. He was a good-living, clean-living boy."
Asked about the present fracas, Vento says, "I don't believe any of the things they're saying about him. I just got a letter from him saying he was having a fine time in the Army. He would never try to got out of the Army, and I'm sure he wants to serve as a private. That's the kind of guy he is." Schine's most famous exploit while with the McCarthy Committee as an unpaid consultant was his trip to Europe with Chief Counsel Roy Cohn to investigate the United States Information Service and the Voice of America. For this trip they were labeled "Junketeering gumshoes" by Theodore Khagan. The two are shown above during their visit to Rome.
Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.
After the Army-McCarthy hearings [ edit | edit source ]
After the hearings, Schine left politics and declined to comment on the episode for the rest of his life. He remained active in the private sector as a businessman and an entrepreneur, working in the hotel, music, and film industries, and he was a founding member of the Young Presidents' Organization. Ζ] In 1957, he married the Miss Universe of 1955, Hillevi Rombin of Sweden. Η] They had six children and were married for nearly 40 years until their deaths in 1996.
Schine made a cameo appearance as himself on a 1968 episode of Batman. ⎖] Schine was executive producer of the 1971 film The French Connection, which was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won five, including Best Picture. Shortly afterwards, Schine was involved with chart topping music that achieved Billboard gold and platinum and Cash Box #1, by The DeFranco Family. Schine's company, Schine Music, would also provide songs to Lou Rawls and Bobby Sherman, among others. A musician himself, Schine had music that he had composed published, and at one point, he guest-conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra for Arthur Fiedler. Schine's post production video house in Hollywood, Studio Television Services, handled clients such as HBO, Disney, Orion, and MGM/UA. His publicly traded research and development company, High Resolution Sciences, endeavored for years to bring high definition to broadcast television.
G. David Schine
G. David Schine was an American patriot, corporate hero, and Roy Cohn's camping buddy.
Schine worked hard his whole life to inherit his family's real estate empire. Once he became rich and got God on his side, he embarked upon a holy mission to destroy Communism by publishing a pamphlet on the Red Menace so chock full of truthiness that it did not have enough room for "facts" or correct spelling. The pamphlet garnered so much praise from Schine's
mother legions of fans that the Justice Department offered him a job with Joseph McCarthy's Holy Crusade against the Commies. McCarthy paired him with Cohn, who had been cruising searching for a young partner to help him eradicate subversion, from top to bottom.
There was just one problem: Schine had been drafted. While Cohn admired men in uniforms, he needed his young charge to stay stateside, so he approached the Army and respectfully asked them to exempt Schine when his reasonable offer was refused, Cohn politely said he would have no choice but to reluctantly "wreck the Army". What followed was one of the most obviously rigged trials in military history, in which McCarthy and Cohn were maligned for
abusing their power using their position to protect a crony help out a friend.