tv Ray and Joan CSPAN December 10, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm EST
point i recognize now enhanced interrogation clearly is torture. torture is an enhanced interrogation. what i didn't want to do was write a policy book that suggested where the come from or why it happened because i simply didn't know a lot of those things but i think more importantly i had an obligation to tell my story. ..
author of radio shangri-la but we go way back to the '80s when we worked together as a tv station in north carolina. so we're reconnecting now, with be asking the questions of her which might make her slightly nervous, except i know that she knows the answers to every single question i'm going to ask her today. because she researched this book for five years. welcome, lisa. >> thank you so much. thank you being here with. >> host: we are happy to have you. her first book, was holiday raid "raid show shangry -- shangri-la. they have gross national happiness. so we're happy to talk about you new book, which is "ray and joan," and we many ray croc and this third and final wife, joan
croc, his woad dough, and the story is so compelling in some many ways but we need to go back to the beginning a little bit here, because mas mcdonald's is huge, it's everywhere, but has really modest beginning in a little town in california with a couple of brothers. so when you started research it took you to where. >> guest: took me to san bernardino, which is a smallish town, it was two brothers to came from new hampshire tonger get out of the weather in the '20s, and wants to make they're way in the movie industry. back then the early days, the talkees, dick and mac mcdonald's made their way house and the found out it's hard to make it in the movie industry so the wound starting an orange juice and hot dog stand.
and that orange juice and hot dog stand led them to open a rib restaurant, and then they decided that it they were having a hard time, if anybody remembers the era of car hops. car hops were unreliable, didn't show up for work. why serve your to your car -- a time in america people were following in love with their cars, roads were being built, suburbs, and the brothers had a hard time employing dishwasher and car hops which attracted boys which meant shenanigans in the parking lot, glasses broken. so it was a pricey proposition and the ribs were hard to make they shut done and decideed to pare down their menu to ten items, hamburgers, milk shakes and french fries. they had a terrific formula for making french friesed. at first people in san bernardino, where they moved
their restaurant, were very upset nice liked the car hop service. but didn't take long before people pel in love with the speedy service, they called it, and the good food and it was cheap few food, too 15 cents a hamburger, so, yeah, that where is mcdonald's began, in the desert of california. >> host: they were the mcdonald brothers, dick and mac. >> guest: yep. >> host: big mac? >> guest: ironically, no. >> host: okay. so that was the very beginning, and it became quite popular. they became sort of wealthy from that day. >> guest: yeah, they were working as hard as anybody in the restaurant business does, which is very. they each worked until 11:00 at night. they felt really, really lucky because they were a able to buy
new cadillacs every year. neither -- bun was married, neither had kids. lafd together in a house they fought up on a hill and they were just happy. they work hard but were making $100,000 a year profit, and life was good. >> host: that this in the early 50s. a lot of money. >> guest: lots. >> host: they were doing something right. then other people started to becoming interested so day did in franchising, didn't they? they found through -- other trade magazine wrote about the speedy system, and basically they put the hamburger on the assembly line. they figured out in a small space to move the production of food very quickly out to you, the customer, as fast as -- i think it was in under ten seconds if you placed an order. really, really quick. and so putting the hamburger on the assembly line was great, and other people all across america
hoping hamburger stands, looking to entrepreneurial, small business people, businessmen usually, and so san bernardino became mecca. people would flock there and stand outside and i left out an important detail, which is that the first mcdonald's was in glass so you could see in the restaurant, which now we see it all the time, but then was revolutionary. so what was so exciting was all these people would show up and want to steal the idea for this mcdonald's, and they would sketch and dick and mac saw these people sketching and realized we could probably sell this formula, so they put it in a manual, and they sold the idea and -- the didn't even really want to sell the name. then that was -- didn't make any sense. why use mcdonald's on your restaurant? but they did. people did. and for $950 fee, you got to buy the blueprints for mcdonald's, which included these golden arches, which eventually, as we
know, became ubiquities to. >> host: that was the beginning. now you ha other mcdonald's popping up? yes. >> host: they were more interested in what they were doing in san bernardino. they were happy doing mat why were doing. >> guest: yes, they had offers from people who wanted to take it national. but they were pragmatic but the didn't want to invest the time and energy in going state to state and slogging around. they were doing just fine. >> host: okay, but geographically. let's move to the west ask man named ray croc who was doing his own thing but was an entrepreneur, hard-charging sealings guy. now you bring him into the picture for us. give us an idea who was ray croc. >> guest: ray croc was a heal
fellow well met, a salesman, selling paper cups since a younge man. he then found a multispindled milk shake machine that allowed you do six at -- six and five at a time, which was revolutionary technology just as the paper cup was, and the paper cup was invented. and he just loved being on the road. loved the ethos of the sale. he liked to figure out what it was that made you want what he was selling and he was just a larger than life personality. and so with this milk shake machine, that's how he encountered the brother. >> host: sew he's sell his milk shake machine and happens to go -- hears about the mcdonald's operation. what do you think happen behind ray croc met the mcdonald's brothers. >> guest: the mcdonald's brothers knew him as
mr. multimixers, because they bought many multimixers and ray was intrigued why would one little store made so mean of these multimixer machines. >> host: that's a mouthful? >> guest: you would thick by now i'd be able to say it. so he went there to say hello. they were happy to meet him because he sold them a very important piece of equipment that helped their business. they could bank milk shakes until you came up and needed a vanilla, it was out right away. so that was very helpful to they're system. and they met ray and ray was dazzled. he described it in his autobiography, almost of is he is describing falling in love. the system was so perfect to him. heed seep a lot of drug store counters and restaurants, and this system was beautiful and the fell in love with the eye efficiency and cleanliness. he was a neat freak and very
happy to see this, and he wanted to figure out how to propagate it across the land because in hi mine, the more mcdonald's, me more multispindled milk shake machines would be souljah so started with milk shakes for him. >> guest: it did. so he meets the mcdonald brothers and sells them all these milk shake machines. >> host: at what point did he decide this needs to go back and how do i make third go big? when he fared laid eyes on the mcdonald's operation, all those other people were there sketching and trying to figure out how to rip off the idea, or more politely, emulate it, mimic it, but ray decided he didn't want to steal it. he wanted to help sell it. so that night he went for dinner with them and said, please let me franchise. they were reluctant. they had begun franchising and had a franchise agent who was working -- who became will not long after ray entered the pick tire, and the stars aligned and
they basically said, you know, if you want to do it no skin off our backs go ahead and do it. so he started doing it. >> host: he started franchising it. that led him -- his first franchise opening wasn't? >> guest: in des plaines, illinois, not far from where he lived in shack. >> host: that is the mcdonald's if you go to mcdonald's corporate they consider that they first opening of a mcdonald's in the united states. >> guest: yeah. >> host: it looks like a museum. there's an actual mcdonald's functioning across the parking lot but looks just liked did in the old days. >> host: praying homage to the original, the ray croc store. was he opening them in various places? >> guest: he wasn't opening them as quickly as you might think, and that is because people were opening their own hamburger stands without buying into the fran characterize, but he -- franchise but it was hard. it's hard to sell something like that. hard to sell the formula. but he was doing okay.
and he was a couple of years in when he went to st. paul, minnesota, which is where our story take as a turn to the romantic. now he starts to get into the ray and joan part here. >> host: so, let's book up just a little bit. tell us about who joan is, before she met ray croc on that fateful evening. >> guest: so, joan was 26 years younger than ray. so ray was 52 at that point. so joan was in her 20s. she was a younge mother. she was a beautiful blond woman, and she was a very, very skilled pianist and organist, and back in the day, that was a very valued profession. people would play in restaurants, which she did. she played on television. local television. she was so beautiful that the local tv owner hired her to play music in the breaks in between shows, because that was before
videotape. and he also had a really good concern going selling -- i'm sorry -- selling lessons, music lessons to kids. so she was really working very hard with these three jobs, but the job she loved was at the cry tieron restaurant in -- she played the organ in the dining room, apparently up on a pedestal and entertaining the diners. then after dinner hours she would go to the lounge where she played piano. >> host: now take us back to that evening, and now keep in mind ray is married, has a child at home? yes. >> guest: yes, she is out of the house. >> host: and joan is married with a child. now she is doing her thing the criteriaon. and ray walks in. >> guest: ray had been selling two years, in 1957. he walked in and was there to
sell the owner of the restaurant a franchise. he asked ray to come. he never budget the milk shake machine mixer but the knew ray because of that and he invite ray. ray came in to have a dinner meeting, and sure enough, he was way laid by this beautiful woman playing the organ and not only was he attracted to her youthful good looks but he himself was a pianist. he made money as a pianist early on in his life, and loved playing piano so he was taken by not just her looks but her technical, musical proficiency. so that was a very intoxicating thing for him. >> host: that meeting, did they actually immediate? how did that happen? best i, tell, from talking with people and also from what ray says in his autobiographyy, which you take a couple of grapes of salt.
he demanded to meet her. and, yes, he win over and said hello. the extent of the conversation has never been completely clear, even joan's daughter hasn't -- she was there that night, too, her father came with her to pick joan up to take her home after work, but it's not entirely clear the depth of the conversation, but what happens next suggests there might have been more to it than just this quick interaction, which is that joan's boss, jim, bought a franchise, opened store number 93 in st. louis parks, and hired joan's husband to manage it. there was a spark that night but it's going to be a while before it's officialry ray and joan. >> host: even though their lives from then on may have been on separate but paths that continued to connect. >> guest: right. >> host: give us an idea what happened. >> guest: it's important to
point out that in 1957, and for several years forward, mcdonald's was not successful for the corporation. for the people who opened franchises, it was very lucrative, and they were paying a 1.9% royalty to the mcdonald's corporation, of which half a percent was going to the mcdonald's brothers and that wasn't enough to keep the corporation growing at the rate that it needed to, and helping corporate police the standards from store to store. so, ray was under a lot of pressure because he was growing the company and he was hiring people who were very helpful to him. in fact in several cases they were enormously helpful. they helped save the business. but it was a difficult time because other people were starting to franchise, too. mcdonald's had not invented franchising. just came up waiver picker formula that really worked for them. but what is interesting is that the stories were doing great,
and mcdonald's was becoming a nationally known brand. they were investing in advertising, local operators, like jim in minnesota, understood the power of advising, but the corporation was on a perilous slope to bankruptcy. >> host: so, with that consideration, what happens to sort of get the relationship now between joan and ray, who obviously felt something that night, back in the 1950s, '57. but seven more years before they got married. so we need to fill in the gap between what happened between that night and when they finally did get married. >> guest: so, joan's husband was to good at managing this mcdonald's in st. louis park, minnesota that, he got a large bonus, a $10,000 bonus, which was an incredible sum of money, and he took that money and plowed it back into his own mcdonald's and at that time
people -- we'll get to this as it relates to this beautiful place where we are right now -- to open a mcdonald's is like the news business. you ha to go where the opportunity was, and joan and her husband were told they -- they had two choices where to go if they wanted to open their own franchise, and one was in allentown, pennsylvania and the would was in rapid city, south dakota, and because raleigh was from that part of the world they chose rapid city, south dakota. so, off joan and raleigh and their younge daughter moved to rapid city with extremely little money in their pockets and grand am missions if they opened this mcdonald's, then maybe their family finances would be on better footing themselves. and that's did. so joan at that point women were not allowed to work in mcdonald's. that was part of an edict from the mcdonald brothers, not just ray.
but what wives were expected to help their husbands so jones, oversaw the construction of the set over golden arches on main street and started ordering the 'stache because the food all came locally, all sourced locally. wasn't hauled in on a truck because ray was very committed to keeping the food local and the standards that meant that could be kept up. >> host: so life in south dakota now, where joan is working hind the scenes and probably do at lot really important things that at the time, a lot of women did that and didn't get the credit for. she clearly had some sense for business. >> guest: oh, yes, very shrewd and not afraid. >> host: so, how would they cross paths again t take us to the point -- i believe there was -- ray croc was married three times so another wife between when he and joan got married so that is a little bit of intrigue.
so give us an idea what happens. they diverge again and eventually come together. >> guest: what is interesting that moment in time in the '60s they were both very committed to mcdonald's from different perspectives. joan through her husband, raleigh and the franchise and then several other stores they opened in rapid city, and ray building this huge company with -- it's opinion to point out, a man name hari, -- harry who was key and critical and coming up with the formula that mcdonald's got under good fitting fitting and that was to open the property the mcdonald's were on. it's hard to imagine how blank the landscape was because it is different than it is now. so these are people who had parcels of land in places where there was very little else going on, and so harry went in and
helped negotiate bank loans and brokered deals with real estate owners and built these mcdonald's, and ray was much more the hamburger guy, whereas harry was the high-minded finance guy. so that is going on while joan's helping her husband. but they continued to somehow be involved with each other, and i'm pretty sure it had something to do with one of ray's early hires who was a world war ii pilot, who owned a little cessna, and ray and harry and june mr. teen know, who -- martin know who was integral -- a whole other book -- she ended enliving in florida -- i won't go too far ahead. the early mcdonald's core team would fly around the country in cessna and look overhead for the clutches and schools some identify parcels of land, but somewhere along the way, ray was
stopping off in rapid city, and joan was seeing him somewhere. and so a relationship -- >> host: a reelings reelings ship evolved. she was desperate to marry her. he married someone else, divorced this first wife, married someone else and in 1965, when mcdonald's went become and ray became wealthy, as did some of the people closest to him, that was when he was married to his second wife. so joan was still in rapid city when ray hit life's lotto during the ipo of mcdonald's and became instantly work something like $33 million on paper. >> host: which is huge in that time. >> guest: really huge. >> host: you have to read the book to get to 1969 which is a critical year because that's the year they finally get married. correct? >> guest: yes. joan -- >> host: what kind of wedding was it?
now they're boast divorced a, be eight wedding or small thing -- >> guest: very quick and small and it was at the j & r double arch ranch, property that ray bought after the struck it rich in 1965, in part because he was extremely wealthy and this is a beautiful piece of property and because that is where he headquartered what was known -- what became known as the croc foundation. so it was both a little bit of a rumpus room for a mcdonald's folks and a retreat for ray and jane, his second wife. but when he divorced jane, his second wife, in order to marry joan it was very convenient the play was called the j & r double arch ranch. in california. and the central coast. if anyone has been to the central coast of california, it's a closer to l.a. version of napa and sonoma valleys, quite
beautiful. it was cattle country, and ray and his second wife lived in beverly hills so it was an easy weekend retreat. >> host: so they get married in 1969. he finally marries the woman he has been interested in for years. >> guest: for years. >> host: what it as idyllic as perhaps they thought it would be, having waited so long? it was for ray because ray felt likely was complete. he had everything. mcdonald's had done well, beyond his wildest imagination. he was a celebrated businessman at a time -- now we have celebrity ceos and they're a dime a dozen, still interesting but back then, ceo would be so media savvy and friendly, it was very unusual and he was a perfect heir -- heir -- it was a
fantastic story. a multimillionaire selling ambassadors. because people were dubious about this business. didn't make any sense. now, it's been, again, so obvious to us, but back in the '60s, wall street in particular was extremely dismissive of this idea until the stock went public. and kept going crazy over the years. but he was extremely happy, ray was, and they landed in chicago, which is where he had started his -- well, where he lived his whole life. but joan quickly discovered that ray was a difficult and temp pet toss person which she new but ray had a series you problem with drinking and it was two years after they married that she filed for divorce, and then almost as quickly as he filed for divorce she mysteriously decided to stay in the marriage, and that is where her core sense
of philanthropy really began because instead of staying in the marriage and just being what she could have been, which was the much younger spouse after this extremely wealthy man and spending money on all kinds of baubles, she decided to start a charity called operation cork, which is croc spelled backward, the man date was to help families of people who drank and this was at a time when people didn't talk about this sort of thing very often. betty ford lad not come out. and john was to moved by her experience with al-anon where is the core companion to aa which helps people who do drink. that's been around and that was enormously successful, but in the '70s a number of people
who were working to figure out ways to morph a -- to other purposes as well as to address the larger issues, which is how the family was impacted and joan was front and center at that. she used the slice of the money ray ear marked for charity at the croc foundation and would convene people at the spectacular ranch where she married ray in 1969, and brought together the great mind who were thinking about that and eager to figure out ways to develop these new systems. but what i love is that she didn't just do that, which would have been terrific enough. she was very active in creating media. so, all these years she'd seen mcdonald's grow and grow thanks to the use of mass media, as we all know there were terrific -- they are terrific marylanders today. that's -- marylanders today. that's nothing new hampshire dating back to the earlier days of the business, and joan
borrowed that for her work with alcoholism. she immediate movies. produced a play, a series of public service announcements using the best animator in the country. she published books and got "dear abby" to write about -- a pamphlet she published and it was clear they touched a never, they were deluged with requests and it's exciting that this woman with a high school education was able to do such formidable work. >> host: what did ray think about that? >> guest: funny enough, ray -- while he didn't seem to think he had a problem with drinking, he loved what openwas doing. the people around ray, the closest monday advisers were nervous because the can't want joan talk about ray. most of them didn't believe that ray had an issue. this is a time when the idea that somebody who was super successful has any sort of
problem was unthinkable. now we hear about and it in the news so much. there's nothing unusual, and rarely is it inuntoward that someone as an addiction problem. they go, get it tape care of, come back and usually often things are okay but in the '70s that was just not something that was even fathomable. so, ray was cool with it. in fact ray would hang out at the ranch when these meetings occurred, with all these addictionologistses, they were called, quaint term from back then, and they would come and meet, and ray would be there in his robe, smoking a cigarette, and having a cocktail, and just chiming in on the conversation. he was happy for her. he was concerned about the bigger issue. there's a whole chapter in the book about their relationship with dartmouth that has a little bit to do with dar mouth's competing with -- to get money from ray for the business school, and joan swoops in and
manages to reroute it for the -- a medical program that was extremely important in the addiction movement and actually continued until very recently. so, yes. >> host: what was their life like together? she has this going on, very passionate about it and he is supporting her and he is obviously growing this empire and she is doing this. what was their life like together? >> guest: it was larger than life. like both of their personalities. they had crazy, crazy sums of money that they used the way people who are enormously rich do and should. they because and -- incredible real estate. she had incredible baubles. at one point ray bought a baseball team just because he heard that the san diego padres were in trouble and he swooped in and plunked down $10 million to buy the baseball team. but it was very tempes toss and
people who now them well and were around them were put in the uncomfortable position of refereeing between the two of them because they weren't the kind of couple who would steam quitely through dinner and -- quietly through dinner and go home and have a fight. why have the fight right there. so there were no boundaries with them, and liz -- i'm sorry -- joan's daughter described them as liz taylor and dick burton. they were just very volatile. it was difficult. it was difficult. and yet it had this veneer of glamor because they were running around in chicago in the '70s as the toast of the town, and then ultimately in san diego when they moved there because of the team. >> host: i'm thinking they probably ran with famous people. who were the company that it kept? >> guest: they were able to have tony bennett come to a party -- any party they had they liked to invite tony to play piano because, why not?
they're famous themselves -- >> host: the plane got them. >> guest: the plane did ferry both -- she was a huge animal lover so the plane would often ferry dogs places they needed to go, for vet appointments. they -- baseball players were a big part of their life. once ray bought in to the team. joan really became friendly with some extremely formidable man after ray died. like mr. rogers was a very close friend of hers, fred rogers. father ted heckberg of notre dame, mercedes mccambridge, the actress. they lived this larger than life, very gilded life. they're apartment in chicago was opulent and the first thing they did was to make sure there was an organ in the wall and a piano.
so they were big into parties and glamorous parties. >> host: we want to talk about more joan and her philanthropy and leave time for questions, too. so, ray croc died in '84. and he leaveses behind how much money? >> guest: about $500 million. >> host: $500 million. so that's half a billion dollars. >> guest: yes. >> and in that day and age that would be the equivalent oft of what today? at lease three or four times that. >> guest: somebody told me and i can't remember. a lot. a lot more than i have. >> host: so she is living that lifestyle. he passes away, and at what point did we know that she was going to turn into the philanthropist that she did become? was it right away or did it take a while or unfold? >> guest: there was a stirring with the operation corc, and then with ray is in last years joan experted her power over the
croc foundation who ray had hired his brother to run. hi brother was a research scientist and had been giving money away with the croc foundation to very highfalutin signs medical research that was not distinguishable from most mere mortals. he was convening scientists from around the world around very high few -- high few luting surgeons and in this dartmouth period where there was this push and pull for them to give big know nations to the school, which hey had nothing to do with but that's a whole other story you'll have to read in the book. they -- she just seemed very interested in the idea of philanthropy and it was when he died, almost immediately, the money was transferred right before he died into the joan b. croc foundation, and literally
the week that he passed away, in early -- in january 1984, she was making donations to local charities in san diego. it really took a turn and what made me really fall in love with joan was in july of '84, you may remember that a man walked into a mcdonald's in sin san yisidro, and it was the worst mast murder in history at that time. and joan viscerally and immediately stepped forward -- she was the largest single shareholder in mcdonald's at that point, at ray's death. and she extend forward and pledged $100,000 of her hone own money to start a victims fund, and had a news conference, didn't call mcdonald's, didn't talk to anybody, just came
forward and she wasn't a public person. if you in the addiction movement you might have known about her because of this work she did, but she extend forward as the widow of the founding chairman of monday monday, pledged this money, and very controversially said that she had such enormous compassion fork the widow of the gunman and her two children that the first payout was going to go to them. and the community went wild because -- at first they went wild this woman was so ben never lent and then many people went wild with the idea the compassion was extended toward the man who perpetrated this violence. but i think that said a lot about joan, and joan even went so far as to go meet this woman to console her. i think that says a lot about her, that she was able at that time, when she could have been most concerned about the family business so to speak, that she was not in crisis management for
the family business, but she was concerned about this woman, whose life was ruined. >> host: that was the first of -- well, they sound relatively small today. not at that time. of these donations she would make that somehow seemed inexplicable at the time because there seemed to be really know rhyme or reason or pattern to giving. so tell us about that and how people would benefit from her large ss. >> guest: when i told my agent about this book he said philanthropy is so boring. i said this isn't a typical philanthropist and there's nothing wrong with people who write big checks to help people. that's my favorite person on earth. but joan was so different that than. so unorthodox, and just as ray bought the san diego padres on a lark in response to a news item
he heard in the car on the way from the car on the wake back home. she would hear a story and read a story and call up and give a tom of mon, or meet someone on a plane. the first three standing hospice in san diego began because she meat woman on a plane who was a doctor, her age, and joan was so taken by this woman who had this for mittable education and wanted to start a free standing hospice in san diego back again when now we take hospice for granted. it's a wonderful thing we all know. it's an incredible presence in a community. that wasn't the case anyone. it was pretty noon so joan loved the woman and next dale she got the check, and joan made sure the property was taken. so there. >> host: flood victims in rapid city, south dakota. >> guest: first.
the '70s there was a huge flood in rapid city and then in 1997 a devastating flood in grand forks, north dakota, and she would see the mayor, mayor pat owens, petite mayor and was on tv every night, discussing the terrible state of the area on television every night. and joan was so moved by that, that she had her friends, the form are mayor, maureen o'connor, fly in to grand forks with a check for $20 million, and the condition was that it go immediately -- as immediately as possible to flood victims and keep her they'd out of it. she didn't realize some something -- saw the name on the check and gave it away iwant to be sure you have time for questions weapon get to the big donations that really set her
apart, and still do to this day. >> guest: yeah. and i as a public radio reporter, of course, had always heard about joan iraq and the gift she gave in 2003 of $25 million, which again was not whimsical but as much because she related to the then-president of npr as she was captivated by the npr mission and people are and can name every host. joan just understood the power and value of media to a free democracy. but what i didn't know until i start researching this book, she gave -- they -- she gave a gift that was ten times larger to the salvation army, also posthumously, that was to build recreation centers in poor neighborhoods all around the country. she built one before she died in san diego, at the cost of $80 million and it was so beautiful and so transformative
for the neighborhood that where is she left the lyon's share of her fortune when the died. the salvation army was not in the business of building recreation centers but they prayed and they decided to accept the money. >> that amount was? >> guest: i think by the time it cashing out, close to $2 billion. >> host: that's an amazing sum. even by today's standards. >> guest: the largest gift ever. >> if you had to sum up joan and the way do you feel about her, having spent so much time studying her, talking to family and people who knew her, what wassure biggest impression. >> guest: she lived life to the fullest and even when she was diagnosissed witch a terminal illness and her family was devastated, she said i've lived an amazing life, and i don't know -- i'm sure everyone here has the same feeling, oh do i
give my life meek and how do i -- meaning, and how do i -- especially is a you get older -- how to feel how you're useful in the world, and joan was useful in so many different ways, grand and small, and while most of us don't have that kind of resource, what i love is that she was just so big in everything that she did. the way she gambled. she smoked a lot. she bought incredible jewels, which she gave away but she had the biggest heart. think those are the things that stick with me. she was not afraid. she was unafraid. or ate least if she was, doesn't seem like anybody around her knew it. and i find that -- those are qualities that i hope to mimic in my own life, especially is a get older. and the story of her almost defying her husband in a way. she did a lot of things that maybe her husband would not have
been so excited about. a lot of the gifts were thinges would would have supported and i don't think she did that to annoy him. she just worked from the heard and from compassion, and what better story can there be. >> host: the truly lived life. >> guest: the lived life. >> host: i think we all know a lot more about ray and joan croc than when we walked in here. don't you think? >> guest: i hope so. thank you. [applause] >> host: i know now some of you have questions and might need to fill in the gaps here, or just have something that you would like to ask lisa. who would like to go first? raise your hand and we'll call on you. don't be shy now. we're all friends here. please speak up. >> my wife and i grew up in -- she called through that time
period and so fascinate can the story, all the relativity. and appreciate the two of you bringing it out. just wondered you think a lot of foundations with marijuana becoming such a mainstream concept at this time do you think a lot of foundations will get involved with people like al-anon? >> guest: that's really interesting. i have no idea. i live in california, of course, where now they just legalized marijuana and it's controversial in so many ways. i do know that joan was aware of and became friendly with betty ford, and she was also an early supporter of hazing continue, which is headquartered and outside of minneapolis, and those two forces have you've nighted in recent years. so -- they're big path path veilan pavilion, and that's a
big business to be involved in right now, and will only get bigger. yeah. >> host: should we point out the oxford exchange connection? >> host: if you don't mind standing, blake and his sister are here today, and they are. >> guest: thank you. >> host: they are the grandchildren of fritz contracts per who stared the mcdonald's empire here in the bay area, the first mcdonald's is still there, 3515 south del mabry, and it was also blake and allison who -- their company built this amazing build that lisa has been talking about, in the oxford exchange, the place that mcdonald's built, you could say, but it's quite different in that it's a book store, cover fee, tea, lunch, and you walk in here and you just leave your cares at the door. >> guest: so beautiful that people get married here.
it's a palace. even more beautiful than i thought and was so grateful nor invitation and the stories since the book came out. and since i got the invitation i learned so many fantastic cascading effects of mcdonald's in different places and this is a shining -- there's nothing like it i've been in hundreds of book stores. never seen anything like this before. >> host: i think she likes it. did it appear to you -- the conversation bring any questions for blake, perhaps? >> maybe june martino, and her impact. >> guest: yeah so even before mcdonald's came along in ray croc's life, ray had a woman who was his gal friday -- nobody calls themselves that anybody anymore -- so june martino was ray's gal friday at his core business, prince castle sales ss where they sold the milk shake
machines and he was a larger than life personality. she was in fearless. she was in bad financial shape when ray hired her. he hired here on the spot and he -- she was with him for years and year and gave him the first hundred bucks when he went to incorporate mcdonald's as a core business, separate from the franchising that the brothers had. so, she was so instrumental that he gave her 10% of mcdonald's stock, and hen mcdonald's went public in 1956 she became 5 or six million dollars on paper instantly and there were a lot of newspaper articles written about her because she was elevated to treasurer, that she was such an expect dis -- became an executive in a corporation and incredibly at e wealthy. what i love about their dash that inincredibly up usual.
she was veil elegant and believed in mystical things but what's so cool about her when ray and harry, the fell who came up with the fan characterize formula and who was the president of mcdonald's and took mcdonald's public, when ray and harry were at odds, there were big friction in the company, and june was called unofficially the vice president of equilibrium and everybody would go to her because they knew -- kind of mom and dad fighting. that was the ethos there and she very stayed and in the middle and would happy anyone. she took people who when they had problems. she was an credible person. i wish i could find out moore about her. there's a web site her family built when she passed away. but she stayed on the board of mcdonald's i think until her death. she was very instrumental in ronald mcdonald house, and she built herself a beautiful profit
in palm beach, when she left mcdonald's up in chicago. so, it's interesting that a company that was not favorable to women in the early days, had an integral part of history,s as told by her presence there. >> host: you did not meet her or you did? >> her grandfather started -- [inaudible] that's our connection with june. on a different note. reviews that's have come out on your book -- one in the "wall street journal" last week. can you talk about the reviews and talk about the broader picture with through founder coming out in december all the different kind of angles being kind of used with mcdonald's? >> guest: sure. yes. kind of funny. all of a sunday mcdonald's, which never went away, is being sort of venerated and pop culture with michael keaton playing ray croc and laura
concern dern plays the first wife. it's great cast. it's strange. i got interested in this because of both the npr connection, whop going this woman who basically helped save npr, but also because i covered this sculpture in santa monica where i was an art export this giant mushroom cloud was built by joan croc and it was in disarray. weren't sure how they would fix it or save it and i thought, why would joan croc or fund this unusual sculpture, and the was a major no nukes proponent in the '80s and fawnser in many, many different ways of the movement, and that's what got me interested in it. the movie, i think it's coincidences that that i think through were looking for something that was like the social network, and that's what i've read, and i think it's the strange coincidence that the
writer of the film and i both have been rooting around, reading these old books -- they're very few books that were written about the early days of mcdonald's, one was ray's memoir from 1977, and one was from 1986, which was a really excellent corporate history. so, i don't know if it's just that now we're getting old enough that we're interested thing that are nostalgic or lives or childhoods. it's just -- it's interesting that -- a fascinating time. it will be interesting to see how people respond to the movie. apparently ray croc is studied in business cools around the world, even today, and the franchise mod model is studied. i've been enjoying fortunate press. >> host: a good thing. >> guest: it's a good story. >> host: it's why we think why c-span is here today.
and the synergy of having the movie come out with the book just having launched was greater think just from the trailer i've seen, michael keaton is going bring a whole new energy and perspective that ray croc is a man who is different than what you're able to see in the book. >> guest: also pointer to point out that my publisherrer is brilliant because they knew the movie was coming out, and -- >> host: exactly. >> guest: shoutout to them. >> host: that doesn't hurt either. anyone else have a question for lisa? right here. >> the most great company with key successes who they surround themselves with, in you pointed out the great people, of course, what about fred? >> guest: fred turner. >> hough does he play in the relationship and was he there, whether some exchanges that you identified in a book? >> guest: yes. fred turner -- i didn't get to talk to him before he passed away. he would not talk to me.
but fred turner was ray's hand-picked successor, and he, after ray retired, became the chairman of mcdonald's and was integral, even before that, as a young man, apparently there the night that ray walked into the restaurant and first laid eyes on joan. he talked about in a documentary methods about mcdonald's. what an amazing force he was. he was literally at the griddle, so like joan he worked at the restaurants and knew intimately how things worked behind the scenes in a mcdonald's he. he was groom by ray to take over and he did. he was also very point to point out, instrumental in getting ronald public donald's house, which most of you probably know does incredible work with sick children and they're family. he is the one who in 1977, when
ray turned 75, decided to help take this idea, which was started in philadelphia, as a result of one franchise, had kind of grown out of a need in that community, a longer story than that but that was one franchise that did and fred identified that for ray's 75th 75th birthday you get the man who has everything, he asked people to donate to a fund which allowed other mcdonald's to get involved and start their own local ronald mcdonald houses. so he is also a whole book unto himself, and a critical force in the early days. for sure. >> right here. >> -- [inaudible] -- become wealthy, like gates and buffet. what condition textualized joan in those circumstances. a she influential or typical or in line.
>> guest: so glad you asked that. one reason i wrote this book and kept at it who enwhy it hit walls which i did almost constantly because mcdonald's did not wish to help me in my research -- i -- and joan's family was reluctant to talk to me, too. one of the reason is kept at it in that looking at joan's philanthropy, realized that she gave away all of her money before bill gates and buffet were heralded for making their pledge to give away their money. she was very unorthodox in the sense that in the early '90s the got tired of running a foundation. for anybody here who knows about foundations it's very complicated. understandably so. she shut her foundation down in