George Matthews
CEO and Chairman of the Board
Nuclear Metals, Inc.
229 Main Street

Age 66

Interviewed November 22, 1996

Interviewed for the Nuclear Metals Archives and the Concord Oral History Program
Renee Garrelick, Interviewer.

George MatthewsI started work at NMI in March of 1955. The company was located in what was called the Hood Building on the MIT campus on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Albany Street, Cambridge. I was hired as one of three people to come in and try and take this academic institution which was then called the metallurgical project of MIT and make it into a business. Before that on July 1, 1954, Arthur D. Little Company and Allegheny Ludlum Steel Company had formed a joint venture and purchased this project from the Department of Energy, which in those days was part of the Atomic Energy Commission, and named the company Nuclear Metals, Inc. We were along to try to take some of the chaotic parts out of it and make it a profit-making business. When I came in, my position was Director of Procurement and Materials Control.

At that time the atmosphere was very academic. The company was run in a very loose manner, very academic. I think maybe 25 PhDs were working at the company. If you studied metallurgy and were in the doctorate program at MIT, you had to work at NMI, or the metallurgical project if you will, as part of it. The fellow who was doing the doctoral advising was Albert Kaufman, who was a full professor at MIT in metallurgy and had become the Vice President and Technical Director of Nuclear Metals.

The post war work was mainly with the Atomic Energy Commission that was newly formed. My understanding about how it was formed originally was that the government came to MIT and said they had this program which turned out to be the Manhattan District Project. They wanted MIT to do certain things. They formed the metallurgical project which did all the early melting of uranium and pouring and many things like that. The entire effort was toward the creation of the atom bomb. That was during the war years. After the war years and the formation of the Atomic Energy Commission, the government had certain programs that they wanted to have done mostly in fuel elements. They approached us, sat down with our senior people, Al Kaufman mostly, and say this is our problem, and how do we do it? We would come up with a proposal, send it in to them, we would say what the spending rate would be, and what we thought we could do. They'd come back approved and give us advance payments so we could fund the cash, and we would develop it, come up with an answer to the problem, and then make a few prototypes for them, and send them the prototypes and the report. That was what we did for a living until some time in 1958-59.

The company sales at that time was around $2 million and the company employed about 115-120 people. The NMI Board of Directors was Chairman of the Board Earl Stevenson, who was Chairman of Arthur D. Little, Ray Stevens who was the President of Arthur D. Little, Helga Holst, Treasurer of Arthur D. Little, Bruce Old who was Vice President of Technology, Roy Little, who was the famous conglomerate man, nephew of Arthur D. Little, on the Board of Arthur D. Little, President Clark King from Allegheny Ludlum Steel Company, and Bill Arnold, who had a company called Arnold Engineering that was in metalworking that had been sold to Allegheny Ludlum Steel Company and he was a major stockholder of Allegheny Ludlum Steel. So it was a very high powered board for such a tiny company. Bruce Old became NMI's first president and Helga Holst, I believe, was the first Treasurer.

NMI was sold to Textron in 1964. Some of the NMI stock that was held by Arthur D. Little was actually held in the name of Memorial Drive Trust, which was the profit-sharing vehicle for the Arthur D. Little employees. I was told at that time that the largest contribution of any vehicle made into the Memorial Drive Trust were the proceeds of the sale of NMI to Textron. It was rather interesting in that at the closing so to speak of that transaction, Roy Little was sitting there as a member of the board of Arthur D. Little and he was sitting there as a board member of NMI and he was also sitting there as Chairman of the company that had acquired it. So he was wearing three hats at the closing, which is very unusual.

Part of the agreement which I didn't know when I first went to the company in 1955 for privatization was that the Atomic Energy Commission wanted to move Nuclear Metals out of Cambridge. They just felt it didn't belong there and belonged somewhere else off the campus. It was always with the thought of where were we going to relocate and many sites were looked at. Finally, it is my understanding that Bruce Old, who was a Concord resident, and Helga Holst, also a Concord resident, found this bit of land, 330+ acres of pristine land in the woods, very pastoral. It was owned by two fellows named Hays and Swett, and Memorial Drive Trust bought the land and then carved out a piece of about 28 acres fronting right on Route 62 that then became the Nuclear Metals site. The building was then erected.

I remember the dedication day well. I was given the task of working with the architect who was John Quincy Adams from Lincoln in getting the building built, and also getting the firm relocated, moving all the people and equipment, etc. So I was heavily involved in that and I can recall that we wanted to have a great, splendid kick off on this occasion. By the way the town of Concord was great. The town welcomed us, couldn't have been nicer to us, really went out of their way to tell us Concord is where we belong. When we were getting ready for the dedication, we had asked a number of people to come. In fact all the top level people of Arthur D. Little were here at the dedication, so Arthur D. Little had a very heavy connection here in the early days.

They decided they wanted to have the junior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts John Kennedy to the dedication as keynote speaker. It was interesting that about a day or two before the dedication was to occur, we received a call from his office saying that he had other pressing things and he couldn't make it. We were stunned; it really deflated our balloon. We didn't know quite what to do about it, and then finally a fellow who worked here and ran a section called New Developments named J. Lester Klein had been at Harvard. He called up Kennedy's office and said that he was very, very perturbed by this and disappointed, but he understood and he would make an announcement at the dedication that Senator Kennedy was in very ill health therefore he couldn't attend. There was a long pause on the other end of the phone I understand, and the next day we received a call saying Senator Kennedy's schedule had been rescheduled and he can make it. While we were waiting for the dedication to start, everyone was here, we had a tent right out front of the building, and lots of townspeople were here and lots of Arthur D. Little people and Allegheny Ludlum people, and about 10 minutes late, there were sirens and lights flashing and up the road came this police car leading this big limousine, and it was Senator Kennedy. Most of the Concord people were absolutely abashed. They thought it was crass to arrive with the sirens and whistles and so forth. He came in and was very pleasant walking around. He made a very nice speech and off he went, and it was a great dedication. This was October of 1958 and two years later he was President of the United States. We have some wonderful pictures of him with the staff. He related to people and he would look everyone directly in the eye as if they were the most interesting person he had ever talked to, he was very impressive, very charismatic.

I worked very closely with Phil Thompson, NMI's legal counsel. Phil was a mentor of mine. He was eight years older than I was, a local boy from Dorchester in Boston, and he had come to the company about a week before I had come in. He was the inhouse legal counsel and contracting officer. He negotiated all the contracts with the AEC. As a matter of fact, that is another very interesting thing I think that people forget is that almost all the employees lived in the Cambridge-Somerville area. Some of us others did not but most of them lived there and all of them eventually relocated out in this area, Stow, Harvard, Carlisle, whatever. I think they made a contribution, they bought homes, raised their children and really put roots down. That was another different kind of thing that happened from the move. Phil was a dear friend of mine. Phil always had a love of the company and eventually became its General Manager. This was under the Whittaker Corporation.

Whittaker eventually bought the company from Textron, and Whittaker was a company that was located in the Los Angeles area and in businesses that were not very attractive to the Wall Street investor ¾ just mundane steel working and those kinds of things. It appeared to me, although I wasn't in on the decision, that what they wanted was something with a lot of pizzazz, something that could really move their stock, so they bought NMI. Interesting that Whittaker was doing $200 million at the time and NMI was doing about $4 million, but if you saw Whittaker's annual report, it might be twelve pages and there would be four pages of NMI's activities with all kinds of picture and so forth. Phil eventually ran the company and was the one who, after I had moved out of administration and moved into sales for about three years, traveling around the country selling our products, asked me to form a new group which was called the New Products division or the commercial end of the business. He kind of divided the company in two and said we're not just to do research and get people reports and give them some prototypes, what we want to do is to take those prototypes and see if we have a market for them, develop a market for them, make them commercially available and commercially attractive and then sell them so we have a product line for longevity in case the research and development end of the business dried up. That's what we did and Phil Thompson was the one that did that.

As the years went on, there was dissatisfaction with Whittaker's long distance management of the company. This is my opinion, other than the pizzazz or the glamour we gave them in the stock market, there really wasn't much of a fit with them plus there was 3000 miles in distance, and so we were always kind of like the poor nephew that we just couldn't get what we needed to get things done and so forth, and there was always that kind of dissatisfaction. I know I felt that acutely. As I told you I headed up New Products under Phil Thompson and I wanted an engineer to work directly with me. Will Tuffin, a very, very good person, was a young engineer that I had heard all kinds of very good things about, so I asked Will to come along and that was the start of our great relationship over 30 some odd years. Will came on and George Clattenberg, John Jones, John Powers. We formed that group and that group did very well. We started to do very good things.

At that time I thought at my age I really wanted to run a company. An opportunity wasn't here to do that. I understood that, I didn't haven't any problem with that, that was just the way the world was at the time. I was given an opportunity at that time to go out and run a scientific optical company for a family that owned it, so I left in 1965. Will Tuffin then moved up into my position and ran that new commercial end of the business, and he ran that for about five years and did very well with it. Eventually he decided to leave also, and called me. At that time I had worked three years for that scientific optical company and I decided then I wanted to go into mergers and acquisitions, so I left that company and I formed a company called First Financial Inc. Will called me and asked if there was an opportunity to come with me. I was happy about that because I can't say enough good things about him in every regard, and Will came with me and we did a number of consulting arrangements, and strange as it may seem, and the world is very strange at times, a friend of mine Joe Alibrandi, who I was going to go into business with who was then a Senior Vice President and General Manager of Raytheon's Missile Systems Division decided to leave Raytheon. He and I knew each other for a long time; he was an MIT graduate. Joe and I talked about forming our own company and going out and buying companies. One day Joe called me and said, "I've got an offer that I don't know if I can refuse, it's with Whittaker Corporation. They offered me an opportunity to go to Los Angeles as Executive Vice President and take the company over as President in six to nine months." I was disappointed for my part in not working more closely with Joe, but I understood an unusual opportunity can happen. So I said no hard feelings at all, I think it's great, wish you luck. After he was on the job about three or four months, he called me and he wanted to hire me as a consultant for a while. He said, "I want to show you some companies we have that I need someone else's view on." I went out and looked them over, and we talked over what he should do with this company and that company and all of a sudden there was Nuclear Metals, Inc. The whole circle came around. He said, "Why don't you buy that? You know that company." I had kept in touch with it over the years because I still had friends there. That was the one thing about NMI and still is, and I know every company says this, but it really is different, it's more family. In some ways that may be a fault, but in a lot of other ways it's an asset. So having kept in touch over the years I said, "I don't want to touch that with a ten-foot pole, the company is very distressed at this time, I'm not sure it can survive." Joe said he'd make an offer I couldn't refuse. I came back to Boston and sat down with Will and talked about it, and Will thought it was something we could really do something with. I said I didn't think we could, end of conversation.

A month later Joe asked me to come out again to do consulting, and we sat down again and again NMI is there and Joe said he would make an offer I couldn't refuse, and I said I thought we had had this conversation before and I still wasn't interested. I came back to Boston and sat down with Will again and relayed the conversation, and Will said "George you really should look at this. I'd like to take this on as a personal project." I still didn't think we could do something with it, but I told Will to go ahead, and he came out and looked around.

To make a long story short, we looked at it and we talked to a lot of people and the place was very distressed, down to about 55 people, they were all friends of ours, and it was not a pleasant place to walk through. It was a darkened building with nothing going on. I remembered the good days when lots of good things were going on. There were 400 employees here at one time. People would come up to us and say, "Save our jobs, buy the place, do something." Will was in love with the place and thought he could really make the place happen. We sat down and cranked the numbers around and looked at everything and finally, I said I would make an offer on the place, but the deal has to be that Will be President because I didn't want to be President of anything. I would be Chairman but he had to go out and do the day to day, and he said fine. We worked a deal out with Whittaker Corporation and I remember the closing. We sat down and just before I was going to sign away my house, my wife, everything in those days, I said Will and I should take a walk together, everyone's waiting for me to sign. The two of us excused ourselves and took a walk and I said to him "Will, you know what's happening when I sign, this is everything. If this place doesn't make it, I lose my house, I lose everything. Just tell me what we can do?" He looked me dead in the eye and said, "George, I promise you we won't have a disaster. I don't know how high we can make it go but we won't have a disaster." I shook his hand and we went back and I signed. The next morning Will was here working, and in the first month he made a profit. He just turned it around in a hurry and the company did very well after that.

We only made two changes in employees. There were two people, the Sales Manager and the General Manager, and Will assumed their responsibilities as President and General Manager. So those two people we talked with Whittaker about and told them we didn't want to let them go, they're not our employees, they were theirs, so I don't know what they worked out, but they left Nuclear Metals.

Our first success was a powder process called a REP process, a rotating electrode process. It was developed actually by Al Kaufman, and it was developed to make fuel elements. Then we had a sales fellow Bill Burmeister who eventually became Vice President of Marketing, and Bill found Xerox and found an application that Xerox had for mild steel small powder to be used as the toner carrier in their copy machines. While it started very small, we developed the process, but eventually we made tens of tons of the powder that we were shipping to them. That, for the first few years in the ‘70s, was really the life blood of the company. We had many applications, but the prime one was the mild steel for Xerox, and as I said, tens of tons, barrels of it were going out of here every month. As a matter of fact, we put up one production line after another of these REP machines, long lines of them. We even had contests for employees to see who could produce the most powder per shift and there were T-shirts that people wore, or we had parties for them, or there were banners we hung up, it was sort of a door-to-door salesman kind of contest. We always had the capability with uranium. We had all the licenses here to work with uranium. We were very comfortable with uranium. We'd never had real problems with it. We understood its limitations. We understood its safety problems, but we'd lived with that since 1942 and continue as you know today. While it may be a concern to people that are not experienced at it or outsiders, it was never a concern for us. We had the proper perimeters within doing things safely. One of the first things on our directors report each quarter is a section on safety. That is very unusual for a company, but that is our intention. In any event an application came out that the government was trying to produce penetrators. The penetrators were to be fired by one weapon or another to defeat armored vehicles. At Picatinny Arsenal they were having trouble developing penetrators that would work. In talking to two-star General Bob Malley he said he just couldn't get good penetrators out of the lab. We invited him to come to our plant. Will, again with that great entrepreneurship, that great drive, that single-mindedness, got our people together and said we were going to make some penetrators for him. We made penetrators to their specifications and when General Malley came here, they were right on the conference table when he walked in the room. He was absolutely shocked. Couldn't believe that anybody had done it because his research people had told him it would be years away before they could make penetrators. That could work two ways, he thought we were great and got us in the penetrator business, but the R&D people at Picatinny, I'm not sure they still are happy with us because they felt we showed them up.

The end of the Cold War brought the defense requirements way down and exacted its toll on NMI as it did with many other places in a recessionary economy. I can tell you one of the good things we've done here is how we anticipate markets with products, etc., but we did that very badly this last time. We really didn't anticipate the drop. Our fault. My fault. We really didn't understand how fast the market would fall. We went from something like $50 million in sales one year down to $20 million in one year. It was shocking to everyone in the company, to ourselves, to our stockholders. That was really my fault. I didn't anticipate that.

The penetrators were absolutely sensational in the Gulf War. They were called the silver bullets. We have an example from General Gordon Sullivan who is Chief of Staff for the Army telling me personally how they would fire a shot at a tank, hit the tank, tear the turret off and went right through and killed the tank behind it. That's how effective these things were. I think we made the best penetrators in the world but all of a sudden people didn't need the penetrators, or the need wasn't as much as anticipated. Those were very traumatic times for us. Those were sleepless nights for us including Will Tuffin. He's a very caring person. That's the other side of the business that you might say is a weakness. It is a family kind of place, but the other part of it is you get so close to it that it hurts everyone. That was a tough time for the company, but we worked through that and so forth, and our whole plan is diversification. How fast can we diversify? A company with $13 million in cash, the place was run like a bank, again that was a mistake. We should have diversified and gotten into other businesses with that cash. We didn't do that. My mistake again. So what we should have done and we didn't do and we had to suffer through that tough period and we were hoping upon hope that somehow a new order would come out. The Army telling us that they would come out with a major order. They really didn't and we kept the employees as long as we could and that really used up cash, and so it made it tight on cash and we had to lay off the people anyway. We then did a quick turn and decided really what we have to do is diversify in a big way.

We had a number of products that we were looking at. The thing with our products is that they are rather long term. While you may not hear about some of them, they are being developed, and it might take them three or four years before they become a major product within the company. So we had a lot of these things going and we had to accelerate their development and get to that market. It takes a while to develop a market, find out who the players are, how you get to them, get credibility and acceptance from them, etc. So at that point Will came to me and we talked about it a long time and he said he really was thinking about settling down and enjoying life a little more. It has been very traumatic for him. He was the one on the line every day here. I could come in and out and I could be the jolly good fellow and then out of here, but he was here every minute. He was here with all the pain. He said he thought it was time for him to retire and the company to turn to the younger people around. And we did in December 1994. Will became Vice Chairman of the Board and Bob Quinn, one of our great young people, became President. He started here after high school and went to Tufts University and came up and had done everything here, and at that time was Vice President of Sales. He was the only choice and the best choice as far as I was concerned at being President. At that point it also seemed that a number of the Vice Presidents were all reaching the same age ¾ Bruce MacKay, Daral Ferguson, Al Gilman all very solid, good people, but everyone was about the same age. So they all started to leave. We were sorry to see them go because they were friends and they still come back for the parties we have and they are still a part of us in every way, but it gave us an opportunity to bring younger people on. Within about one year we had dropped the age of the president and the vice president of the company between 20 and 25 years.

Also we had new product lines coming out. This Beralcastâ, this miracle material, this new aluminum, all coming on at the same time. The mix seemed right at the right time. How much of that was planned, I can't tell you. I don't want to sound like it was well planned, but it all happened at the same time. Now the company has I can truly say greater opportunities now then it has ever had in its history. We worked our way out of those cash crunch problems and that's behind us now. Stock has done relatively well. I wish there were more shares traded, it's rather lightly traded. We're hoping to do something about that. We've had an excellent board that has been very faithful and stayed with us.

I want to mention the Board members if I may: Marcus Saxman who was one of my original investors, President of Simonds Steel Company a major specialty steel company, cobalt, stainless steel, MIT Masters degree in Metallurgy; Michael Robbins, one of the original Directors, a major investment person; John Deutch, who at that time was Provost at MIT, the top academic person, and then was Acting Secretary of Energy under President Carter and in the Clinton Administration became the Under Secretary of Defense under Bill Perry, and then was asked by the President twice, the first time he refused, to become director of the CIA; Dick Billings who had an illustrious banking career at Citibank as President of Citibank Europe which is bigger than Bank of Boston worldwide. Sitting on the board now is Dr. Kenneth Smith, Associate Provost at MIT and still brings that great MIT connection. The one thing I can always say is when you talk technology we are always in the forefront. In the metals business and the business we're in, there are one or two top people and we are always one or two, always. Another board member now is Frank Brenton, a dear friend going back a number of years, retired Chairman of the Marshalls stores. Some people ask why we have people like that, and I said he's a CPA and he's a good man and he took a company from being very small to being very large and he was just a good man in every direction. A good human being is a good businessman no matter what business he's in. Bob Quinn has now moved up to President and Director of the company.

I think the future is glorious. I tell you I love to be here. When we started this interview, you said I was 66 years of age. It doesn't seem like I am to me. You wonder who the old fellow is you're shaving every morning, you say that's not me, I'm still a young kid. But I'm invigorated by young people. I'm invigorated with how good they are. I'm invigorated with how nice they are. I'm invigorated with how intelligent they are. They are just good people. We're very fortunate to still have the same family kind of place for the good things that brings us and the bad. Hopefully the bad aren't not too bad.

Beralcastâ has created an excitement around here. Just about every aerospace company is interested in the quality of it. In the last 30 days we have made 109 quotes so you can see the pace has picked up. The world is coming here. There are little ways you judge success, and I'm attuned to the little things with my background in the consulting business. One of the indicators when I come in is that sign in the front lobby that says Welcome and it will say Lockheed, Rockwell, Boeing, British Aerospace, I mean blue chip companies and they're all beating a path to our door. We've got this magic product and we've got to find a way to make them all happen. I envision one day that what will happen is that the company will be a holding company with a division over here that will be just Beralcastâ and it will be a major corporation, and I see a company over here doing all the steel mill. There are so many opportunities how do you finance them all? Isn't that a pleasant surprise over what we used to have. That's something that can be managed and we'll find a way to get that done. What we then have to do is provide more opportunities and job security for our good young people within the company. Having been through that bad time, I'm very sensitive to that. I think we can put all that together. I'm very optimistic for the future.

It may sound very strange because some of the things that have gone on in the town with us and so forth is that I'm still happy that we are in Concord. I hope we're a good citizen. We try to be a good citizen. I know people talk about the safety and things like that. I wouldn't want to live near something that would endanger my family. I can assure you that I wouldn't endanger anyone else's family. I think the problem we have with people is the unknown. That's what scares them. I think the more they are educated to what goes on and what we do here stands in our good stead. I have to say this about Will Tuffin. Will Tuffin believed in openness. He was always openness, openness, openness. I think that has stood us in good stead as well. I hope so.

Another piece of my life that is very dear to me is my position as Chairman of the Board at Northeastern University. It's kind of strange how that evolved. When I was at Northeastern, I finished nights. At that time I was married and I had two children. I even had a second job. Money was tight. Times were tight and I was trying to get my education. When I left there it was kind of like "sayonnara, you've been great to me, but I'll never see you again." It wasn't like I had gone to Harvard or Amherst or somewhere that had the old school tie. It served my purpose and I had hoped I served their purpose, but it was a means to an end. I didn't go there because I wanted to make dining relationships for the rest of my life and all that, the good old boy syndrome. Then when I became President of the scientific optical company, there was an article in the Boston Globe with my picture and it happened to mention that I was an Northeastern graduate. So about two months later the doorbell rang so to speak at the company and my secretary said a Mr. Roy Tobus is in the lobby from Northeastern University. I'm somebody who sees almost everybody and answers every phone call. People are amazed that I do that. They know that some of the people are not good calls, but a lot of people answer my phone calls so it's that simple. So I said bring him in and he came in and said he just happened to be driving down Route 128, happened to see the sign and came in. I'm not sure that was so, but it was a good story and why would I dispute it? We talked, he was trying to get me involved back in Northeastern, looking for money, he was in development. I understood that. It was his job. He had this plaque of a relief of a husky dog, very attractive. The husky dog is the mascot of Northeastern, and he said I could join the Husky Associates for $500. Now this is in 1965, money was a little different. So I said okay and wrote him a check for $500, and he gave me this plaque and I put it in a very impressive area in my office so everyone would see it.

Then they kept working me and they kept me involved a little more and more and more and eventually I made some money and I thought I wanted to give something back to the University. They asked me to go on the Board in 1978. I was willing to make a donation to the University so I met with the President and Roy Tobus again and I was on the Board at the time, which was about 1982. I had bought a football team in the United States Football League, the Boston Breakers, so I guess I was feeling my cheerios or whatever in those days. I said I wanted to make a major contribution to the University and I was going to give them a certain amount of money. I said there were two stipulations to my giving them the money, one was that I wanted to use the money for the most difficult project they had, and secondly, I wanted to be anonymous. They said they could do that. They came back to me a while later and they said the project they had was the old Boston Arena which was then owned by the state and it was a disaster. Literally, rats running in there and the pipes were leaking and they wanted to rejuvenate it and wondered if I would do that. I asked if that was the worst project they had. They said it was that they couldn't raise a dime for it. They did a beautiful job. I provided funds but the University did a fantastic job on the project. Then they came back to me and said they were trying to attract other graduates to give money to them. And they asked if they could put my name on the arena because then other graduates could look at it and they could point to me and say what I had done and what other graduates had done, and it might influence other graduates to contribute. I wasn't keen on that at all. After a number of meetings I said yes. What they do at Northeastern, long before my time, in building naming they put your spouse's name on it also which I thought was a nice touch. Then I thought that it would be nice for my family. All the time I've been away from them and haven't been home to do the things that I should have done, my wife taking over in my place, that maybe that was a nice way for her to be recognized, and so they named it Matthews Arena.

Through a friend of mine I was introduced to Mikhail Gorbachev and found him to be very approachable, very intelligent, somebody you would be very comfortable sitting down and speaking with. I received a call from this friend of mine who said Gorbachev was coming to the United States and they wanted him to speak at a few places, and they asked if we might want him to speak at Northeastern. I said absolutely. It was just a few weeks ago on that night of the torrential rain that flooded everything out. We had more than 1000 people attend, actually we turned people away. Some of the people were very unhappy after trudging through the rain and being turned away. The Northeastern people were concerned. But it was a glorious time and he couldn't have been nicer. I spent about an hour and 20 minutes in a small 8 passenger executive jet with he and his wife flying from Kennedy and they were delightful. Even still now, and I guess it reflects my humble background, I wonder if that actually happened to me. Sitting knee to knee with him literally, if he wanted to move his foot, I had to move my foot and talking for an hour and 20 minutes with somebody who literally changed the world. I said he did this with great political sacrifice and also I believed with great personal sacrifice, remember that time he was kidnapped. He said "Mr. Matthews, it still continues." The personal risk. He was accompanied by two security people and I could tell with his wife and watching her with him, I could see she has great concern about his well being, if somebody will try to hurt him in some way.

He has formed the Gorbachev Foundation and that is kind of a think tank for Russian policy. They have these deep thinkers about policy and what Russia should be doing and so forth, and he funds that through the public appearances he makes. Matter of fact he was doing one at a very small college in Iowa for $100,000, just for a luncheon. All that money goes back to the Foundation and that group makes recommendations to the Russian government on policy. The other thing it does is help crippled children in Russia which is a favorite charity of Mrs. Gorbachev, and he asked me to be on the Board.