Interview With Richard Norton Smith About “On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller”

One of those interviews that could have lasted the entire hour. 

JUDY WOODRUFF: You write, among many other things, about his severe learning disability, the dyslexia, and how he throughout his life compensated for that and how that also shaped him.

RICHARD NORTON SMITH: That’s right. His dyslexia went undiagnosed. He was 50 years old before he ever heard the word dyslexia. He went through life believing that he had a deficient I.Q.

And his mother, again, the redoubtable Abby, said surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. And he took her advice. And every Rockefeller operation was in fact marked by all of these advisers and gurus and policy wonks, one of them Henry Kissinger, whom he introduced to the American scene.

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