Blandin Foundation Oral History Project: Interview with James R. Oppenheimer
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Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: James R. Oppenheimer and his father, William Oppenheimer, were chief legal counsel to Charles K. Blandin and to Blandin's estate after his death. (William Oppenheimer served as co-trustee of the Residuary Trust, which was given ownership of most of Blandin's estate and which provides most of the funds for the Blandin Foundation.) James Oppenheimer was born in St. Paul in 1921, graduated from Dartmouth College and spent three years as a lieutenant (junior grade) in the U.S. Navy during World War II, when he served on a destroyer escort in both the European and Asian theaters of the war. After the war he attended Yale College of Law on the GI Bill and returned to St. Paul to practice law. He succeeded his father as co-trustee of the Residuary Trust. Oppenheimer's role as co-trustee of the trust and chair of the Board of Directors of the foundation was a critical one, as the foundation dealt with difficulties that faced many foundations during the 1970s and 1980s. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: The interview was conducted in two parts. During the first part, an August 18 interview by Barbara W. Sommer, Oppenheimer provided background about his father's role in working with Blandin at the St. Paul Dispatch, with the Blandin Paper Company, with development of the Blandin Foundation, and finally with Blandin's will, which defined and put into place the Residuary Trust. He also discussed his early involvement with the Blandin accounts. The second part of the interview, conducted on August 19, included Sommer and Charles P. (Todd) Driscoll, Senior Program Office at the Blandin Foundation. Oppenheimer discussed succeeding his father as co-trustee of the trust and chair of the Board of Directors of the Blandin Foundation. He provided background about the effect of the Tax Reform Act of 1969 on the foundation, the sale of the paper mill and the growth of the foundation as a result of that act, and the hiring of professional staff for the foundation. He also discussed in detail his leadership of the board as it dealt with the impact of this act on the foundation. Finally, he briefly discussed the legacy of the foundation.
Quantity 4 hours sound cassette
64 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 03:45:29 running time
Creation Interviewee: Oppenheimer, James R.
Interviewer: Sommer, Barbara W.
Interviewer: Driscoll, Charles P.
Made in Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 08/18/1998 - 08/19/1998

Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 61
Accession Number AV1998.204.3
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Blandin Foundation Oral History Project'

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