Friday, 29 August 2008

Patrick J. Frawley, Jr.

Patrick J. Frawley, Jr. - Heir to the Schick razor fortune

Patrick Frawley Jr., 75, Ex-Owner of Schick

Published: November 9, 1998

Patrick J. Frawley Jr., a high school dropout who made millions of dollars in business, gave millions to conservative causes and candidates, then made it his business and his life's work to combat alcohol and drug addiction, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 75 and lived in Agoura, Calif.

His family said he died during surgery for lung cancer.

For Mr. Frawley, an independent-minded entrepreneur who tended to see opportunities where others saw obstacles, the road to riches was paved with ball-point pens that would not leak, razor blades that would not rust and a political zeal that would not quit.

In quick succession, he made a fortune as the creator of the leak-proof Paper Mate pen, expanded it with the introduction of stainless-steel blades for Schick razors and then, following the Communist takeover of a Schick plant in Cuba, was quickly transformed from an essentially apolitical businessman into a leading stalwart of the American right, financing an array of conservative organizations.

Mr. Frawley was also not reluctant to use Schick's advertising bud get as a weapon in the cold war. When ABC News once broadcast a documentary in which Alger Hiss attacked Richard M. Nixon, Mr. Frawley tried to cancel $3 million worth of scheduled advertising. The network declined to let him out of the contract.

To say that Mr. Frawley was given to instant and excessive enthusiasms would hardly do justice to a man who became so enamored of the negative-reinforcement therapy that Shadel Hospital in Seattle used to cure his drinking problem that he bought the hospital for Schick, renamed it Schick Shadel and retained it when he sold Schick to Warner Lambert in 1970. He later expanded it into a chain of treatment centers.

Where Mr. Frawley got his enthusiasm is not clear, but his entrepreneurial instincts seem to have been inherited from his father, an Irish-born professor of literature who went to Nicaragua for his health and variously became a banker, import-exporter and dealer in heavy equipment.

Though Mr. Frawley was born in Leon, Nicaragua, and his mother was French and Spanish, he spent his boyhood with relatives in San Francisco so he could attend American schools. But he dropped out at 16 and returned to Nicaragua to work with his father. He learned how to wheel and deal so well that at 18 he arranged for the sale of $300,000 worth of tires to the Panamanian Government.

As the son of a British national, Mr. Frawley, who eventually became an American citizen, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II, married a Canadian and settled in San Francisco, where he engaged in a series of business ventures until, through a default on a loan he had made, he was stuck with a failed manufacturer of parts for ball-point pens.

Taking advantage of an improved new ink, Mr. Frawley turned the company into Paper Mate, trumpeted the pen's leak-proof properties and built the company into a runaway success in a booming new industry. In 1955, at age 32, he was able to sell it to Gillette for $15.1 million.

Casting around for new opportunities, Mr. Frawley found two and, typically, pursued them both, more or less simultaneously taking over Eversharp Inc., Schick's parent, and Technicolor Inc., the Los Angeles-based film processing company.

While Schick's introduction of stainless-steel blades made it an industry giant, under Mr. Frawley Technicolor achieved little more than a footnote to business history: the development of a film-cartridge system, a premature technological innovation that would have been rather more successful had the cartridges contained videotape instead of film.

Mr. Frawley's control of Technicolor was not totally uneventful. When it was discovered that George Murphy, the onetime actor who had resigned as a Technicolor executive when he entered the Senate in 1965, had remained on the Technicolor payroll for most of his term, the disclosure helped lead to Mr. Murphy's defeat by John V. Tunney, and Mr. Frawley's ouster from Technicolor in 1970.

In addition to those listed in the article, the following are some other Knights of SMOM of interest:
Patrick J. Frawley, Jr.: also a Knight of the Order of St. Sylvester of which William [ head of WWII OSS .... JP ] Donovan was a member. He is a longstanding funder of right-wing causes including Fred Schwarz's Christian Anti-Communism Crusade. His wife is a Dame of SMOM and is Publisher of the National Catholic Register of California, whose editor, Francis X. Maier was formerly with National Review. Maier was the first Chairman of the Catholic Center for Renewal, whose President, Philip F. Lawler, is the Director of Studies of the Heritage Foundation (which was chaired by Knight of SMOM Frank Shakespeare, newly appointed Ambassador to Portugal).

Patrick J. Frawley Jr. Heir to the Schick razor fortune, Frawley is a well-known funder of right-wing Catholic causes, such as the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade. His wife, Geraldine, is publisher of the conservative 'National Catholic Register' and a Dame of Malta.
Another knight who moves in New Right circles is Patrick J. Frawley, whose fortune derives from the Schick razor empire. In the early 1960s Frawley co-founded a group called the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade. He is also closely involved with the American Security Council, a cold war fraternity that lobbies persistently for a strong military and intelligence apparatus. Frawley-controlled companies own a number of right-wing Catholic media outlets, including Twin Circles magazine and the National Catholic Register. Frawley's wife, Geradine, is publisher of the Register. She is also a Dame of Malta and a leading member of the Right to Life League.
Frawley, Patrick J. SMOM • Twin Circles,
• National Catholic Register
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