At this juncture, Oscar R. Ewing, a long-time ALCOA lawyer who had recently been named the company's chief counsel with fees in the then-astronomical range of $750,000 a year (35) -- arrived in Washington.
was presumably well aware of ALCOA's fluoride litigation problem.
had handled the company's negotiations with the government for the building of its wartime plants. (36)
In 1947, Ewing was appointed head of the Federal Security Agency (later HEW), a position that placed him in charge of the Public Health Service (PHS).
Under him, a national water fluoridation campaign rapidly materialized, spearheaded by the PHS.
This enthusiasm was not really surprising, considering Oscar Ewing's
public relations strategist for the water fluoridation campaign was none other than Sigmund Freud's nephew Edward L. Bernays, (37) "The Original Spin Doctor," as a Washington Post headline recently termed him. (38) Bernays, also known as the "father of public relations," pioneered the application of his uncle's theories to advertising and government propaganda.
, as Federal Security Agency
administrator, was a Truman "fair dealer" who pushed many progressive programs such as nationalized medicine.
was lumped with his
Newspaper accounts from the period also refer to Ewing
as ALCOA's "chief counsel.
Later ASIA responding to charges that it had been behind the fluoridation scheme, claimed that Ewlng was just another of its many lawyers and that his
fees had been much lower.
Undisputed, however, is that Ewing was an extremely wealthy corporate lawyer and that his major client was ALCOA