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Norman Mailer '43 to Run For Election to Overseers

By Deborah B. Johnson

Norman K. Mailer '43 will be a candidate for the Harvard Board of Overseers in this spring's election of five new members.

Petitions have been circulated to place Mailer and Henry R. Norr '68, former president of the HPC, on the ballot with ten candidates officially nominated by the Harvard Alumni Association.

200 Signatures

Thomas Nagel, assistant professor of Philosophy at Princeton and holder of a Harvard Ph.D., has collected 185 of the 200 alumni signatures necessary to have Mailer on the ballot. Norr already has enough signatures, most of which he collected at his graduation where he was Class Orator.

Nagel decided to circulate a petition for Mailer last year. "I felt at the time of the Columbia upheaval that there was something drastically wrong with the make-up of the governing boards of universities," he said.

Mailer said he first heard of Nagel's plan from a Newsweek reporter who was writing an article about him.

One in Thirty

"I don't think that one voice in 30 would do a great deal," Mailer said yesterday.

The Board of Overseers has 30 members, most of whom are businessmen, lawyers, and government officials. They serve for six years, meeting seven times a year, and are responsible, among other things, for approving all University appointments of over one year's duration.

C. Douglas Dillon '31 and David Rockefeller '36 are present members. Robert F. Kennedy '48 ran for the Board last year and lost, but his brother, President John F. Kennedy '40 was an Overseer from 1957 to 1963.

Deadline

The petition deadline is one month after the announcement of the Alumni Board's nominees in early February. Ballots will be sent to the approximately 100,000 degree-holders of the University on April 1.

"It's an extraordinary responsibility--it would be like learning a new occupation," Mailer said. "On the one hand it appalls me, and on the other hand it intrigues me a bit," he added.

Beginning as a novelist in the 1940's, when he wrote The Naked and the Dead, Mailer has recently turned to journalism. His latest works are Armies of the Night, on the 1967 march on the Pentagon, and an account of the political conventions in Miami and Chicago.

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