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December 11, 1954
Dear General Marshall:
Those in public life very often hear unkind things; not always do they hear the kind words that are said about them. I thought that you and Mrs. Marshall ought to have in your files a record of a short conversation I had with President Roosevelt in the winter of 1943 to 1944.
I had spent a weekend with him up at Shangri-La, and coming back he started talking with me about 1944 and the political campaign coming up that Fall. He said that of all the men he had been associated with in government, he thought that you would be the one best qualified to take his place as President of the United States. What Roosevelt told me was said, of course, in confidence. This is the first time I have told it to anyone. But I thought it would warm the hearts of you and Mrs. Marshall to know what that great American thought of you.
To you and Mrs. Marshall I send my warm and affectionate regards for the Holiday Season.
William O. Douglas
NOTE: Marshall’s reply is attached.