National Geographic : 1966 Oct
you please step in to see Dr. Grosvenor."' "The Chief had a twinkle in his eye. "'But that isn't what I said. I shall have to talk to the telephone operator about that. I knew you were busy with fresh proofs this morning, and what I asked the operator to say was, "Please ask Mr. Poggenpohl to step in to see me when he has a minute."'" Steel Beneath the Velvet In the magazine as in person, Gilbert Grosvenor had a gentleman's aversion to being unfair or unkind. "Only what is of a kindly nature," he wrote in laying down guiding principles in 1914. "Nothing of a partisan or controversial character." But it was typical of this strong-minded editor that he reserved the right to decide what was controversial and what was not. "Many subjects," he observed long after ward, "I have not regarded as controversial" - referring to such hotly debated issues as Peary's versus Cook's claims to discovery of the North Pole and Gen. Billy Mitchell's championship of the bombing airplane versus the battleship. To Dr. Grosvenor then, as to history later, there was no question that Peary and Mitchell were right. This mild-seeming gentleman of courtly manners had the soul and heart of a fighter. Those who challenged his plans and prin ciples struck steel beneath the velvet. At the outset he fought a major policy decision of his formidable father-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell, when the genius of the tele phone, then President of the Society, decided that the current sensation in magazine edit ing, S. S. McClure in New York, knew more about what was best for the GEOGRAPHIC than young Gilbert Grosvenor. Back steamed Gilbert, with his strongest ally, from Europe where they were honey mooning. His loyal ally and love of his life To honor the man who did most "to foster an intense popular interest in geography of this country," naturalist-photographer Jack Breed in 1948 gave the name Grosvenor Arch to this 152-foot-high sandstone bridge in Utah. It is one of nine landmarks across the earth named for him (page 447). "Our country is the treasure-house of nature's scenic jewels," wrote Gilbert Grosvenor in 1916. He led the Society and its magazine in many battles to protect those jewels in such national preserves as Katmai National Monument in Alaska, Sequoia National Park in California, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. 450 EKTACHROMEBY JOSEF MUENCH© N.G.S.