Who were the people who worked for Franklin? These men and women whom I shall call Franklinians were an interesting amalgam of people. One can find among this group people who had diplomatic, political, and legal experience and they worked next to people who came from the bazaar, the trenches of the WWII, or the streets of Tehran. Some of these people even reached the high management positions. One good example is Ali Asghar Mohajer who worked apparently for the Ministry of Finance and also as a cab driver but came to Franklin/Tehran first as a translator and then worked his way up to become the second and the last director of the program in Tehran.
I will briefly introduce some of these people here:
Datus C. Smith, Jr.
Smith was a member of the board and the first director of Franklin from 1953. He was the director of Princeton University Pres before joining Franklin. He is a key figure behind Franklin, a man whose vision of the book and development shaped Franklin in the foundation years and the following decades. Apart from his voluminous correspondences with the Franklin local offices, he published extensively on book publishing in the developing countries.
Some of Smith’s publications include:
Smith, Datus C. 1975. “The Bright Promise of Publishing in Developing Countries.”
The American Academy of Political and Social Science 421, 130–139.
Smith, Datus C. 1981. “The Two-Way Flow of Information between East and West: Obstacles and Solutions.” In The International Flow of Information: A Trans- Pacific Perspective, edited by John Y. Cole. Washington: Library of Congress, 18–20.
Hassan Jalal El-Arrousy
Hassan was the first Franklin’s local director in Cairo, Egypt. He ran the program from 1953 till his sudden death in 1965. He was a lawyer and before joining Franklin, served in diplomatic and national capacities for the Egyptian government.
I have found the following description in a letter of April, 27, 1953 written by Smith from Cairo:
“Born Aug. 6 1909, in Cairo. Father, a doctor, son of a pasha and provincial governor. Hassan’s grandfather was son of a Greek, from Crete, and an Egyptian fellah; he married a Circassian. The family was extraordinary wealthy and utterly impoverished by fits and starts, and Hassan says that one of the greatest advantages on his upbringing was to learn the emptiness of wealth. Hassan was something of a prodigy, and at an early age started sending things to the paper, and at one stage he was a regular contributor, by mail, to a paper which have never seen him. Finally the editor arranged a meeting with his writer and “Hassan Bay” turned up in short pants. He won prizes in literature, ….”
Homayun was a man of bazaar. He had no previous publishing experience but over the years he turned Franklin/Tehran into one of the most successful field offices. Following the Islamic Revolution he spent some time in prison for his work for Franklin.
Ali Asghar Mohajer
As a “translator of some public administration books” he joined Franklin/Tehran in December 1954 with a monthly salary of 12000rials. Sanati described him as “this is the best thing which could have happened to Franklin Tehran office” (Sanati, F214, Jan 4, 1955). He quickly made his way up and become the second and last director of Franklin/Tehran following Sanati’s resignation. He played a key role in the final years of Franklin in Iran and oversaw the spin-off of Franklin.
Byron R. Buck