Part of an interview with Mark Fine on November 18, 2014. In this clip, Fine talks his relationship with his former father-in-law, Hank Greenspun.
Mark Fine oral history interview, 2014 November 18. OH-02184. [Audio recording]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/d11836n8x
But Hank Greenspun, being your father-in-law, in that era and that point in time, was he infamous, famous, important? How did people back east know or think of him? You know where I'm going with this? He wasn't really known back east. I knew him as far as my father-in-law and I knew he had a paper. He was involved with some real estate. He talked to me about different things. I didn't really spend enough time out here to really understand it. I knew he had been involved with Hughes and different people. But a lot of it didn't really resonate for me. I wasn't enough of a historian to understand his impact on the community. I'd see him. He'd come. We'd talk. We'd talk on the phone. I got to know him as a person, and Barbara. That's good. I wasn't working for him. I was married to his daughter. They'd come back and visit every couple of months. We just had that relationship. I didn't know the people in the town. I didn't know the people he worked with. Here's the good and bad thing. I didn't know much about what he did. And I don't say that was a secret, but how he ran his businesses. Hank was a guy that didn't - I'm going to put this in a good way. He was a visionary, but he wasn't a business operator. He didn't really take the time to manage his businesses. He had a horrible thing that happened to him in the mid sixties where his paper burned down and he rebuilt it. Sometimes you just never come back focused on running the business the way you did when you were building it and he had to start all over again. Like I say, he wanted me to come out, but he told his kids to come out. I want my kids close type thing. I need to have a purpose. So I just knew him from that point of view. I knew when he'd go to New York we'd go to Toots Shor's, which was a big place, and he'd know a lot of people there. I knew if I went to Washington...because of the newspaper, because of his history and because of McCarthy, there are certain things that he built a reputation on. The Jews of that era were what I call Holocaust Jews. They weren't necessarily in concentration camps, but they saw - more than any of us today -- the need to continue to identify with your Judaism and to build Jewish communities. He was not a religious guy, but he was a Jewish guy. He was very involved with the creation of the Jewish state of Israel in terms of supportive and doing things. It was a small group of people that were intimately involved. So he had a lot of his own things going between the newspaper and his influence and his conflict with Hughes. It was pretty much foreign to me. This real estate deal or that real estate deal or this business model and that business model. He was involved in so many aspects. I don't know if you know much about his fight with Hughes and the Hughes people -- Hughes was taken out of here in the late sixties and his relationship with Maheu as Hughes' guy and he fought the Hughes' people. It was just a huge conflict. Hank was a very persuasive guy and a very opinionated guy. Like, if he thought Hughes was kidnapped, he was kidnapped and you couldn't change his mind. He fought that. As much as all the guys in the Hughes organization came after him and to try to undermine him, you couldn't change his mind. He clung to his opinions whether they were lawsuits involved.