|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
Anti-Dairyman George Plimpton
Anti-Dairyman George Plimpton, Dead at 76 A few years ago, I launched the NotMilk anti-dairy movement with a stunning press conference in New York City. The entire event was taped by New York television's major networks, and broadcast live to thousands of media representatives throughout the world via a telephone conference call. On that day, we were joined by celebrities, doctors, activists, and many members of the media. I had asked George Plimpton, a friend, to play the role of moderator. Plimpton was a distinguished man, possessing great warmth, wit, wisdom, and dignity. His reputation and efforts helped to get out the word that cow's milk does not do the body any good, and his marketing skills helped to get our anti-dairy story in Time Magazine, the New York Times, and on hundreds of television stations and in many more newspapers, from coast to coast. Plimpton was a gentle man, but he was also a tough man. When word got out that he was one of our spokesmen, pressure was exerted to have him withdraw. George Plimpton was not a man to be threatened or intimidated. As a fighter, Plimpton once had his face bloodied by the great light-heavyweight boxer, Archie Moore. Moore is the only man to have fought both Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali. He knocked out more fighters than any boxer in history, 141, but could not knock out George. As a second-string quarterback, Plimpton once ran a play for the Detroit Lions, resulting in his autobiographical book, Paper Lion. Plimpton was a Renaissance man for the twentieth and twenty- first centuries. Athlete, poet, editor of the acclaimed literary magazine, Paris Review. Activist. Statesman. He was a friend of the Kennedys, and I cherish the stories we shared in his New York City apartment. He was also a dear friend of my colleague, Charles Attwood, M.D. Charles originally suggested that George Plimpton be the moderator for the Anti-Dairy Coalition press conference. Taking his advice turned out to be a blessing. (Charles also appeared on the podium with me, although he was dying of brain cancer at the time. He asked that I keep that secret, which I did, while admiring his own commitment to make the anti-dairy press conference a success. This was Attwood's his last public appearance. Charles died a short time after the event.) Plimpton played professional hockey, was a circus performer, professional golfer, pro tennis player, and even slammed some of the best contract bridge players. He won second prize at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem one memorable amateur night for his skills on the piano. He was called the "prince of cameos," for having appeared in numerous movies and television shows. I remember him as Dr. John Carter's multi-millionaire grandfather on E.R. I cannot place him in the epic movie, Lawrence of Arabia, but Plimpton told me that he appeared briefly as a Bedouin warrior. George was shot dead by John Wayne in Rio Lobo, and cried real tears after his ring experience with Archie Moore. I will best remember George for his magnificent work in which he helped fire the first cannon on Fort Dairy. We started this war together. George Plimpton lit the fuse and carried the banner. Thanks, George. We'll miss you.
Robert Cohen, author of: MILK A-Z
Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dairy Education Board
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