• Vice President & Director, Meier & Frank Company, Inc., 1948-1965.
  • Manager, Meier & Frank Company, Inc. Salem, Oregon, 1948-1965.
  • $1-a-year-man, Office of U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield, 1966-1972.
  • Chief of Staff, Office of U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield, 1973-1992.
  • Judge, Oregon State Fair Chocolate Cake Contest, 1959-2021.

About Gerry Frank

Gerry Frank had deep roots in Oregon—he was an eighth generation Oregonian—and he was proud of his heritage. His ancestors came to Oregon in 1857, founded Meier & Frank Department Store and set an example of civic involvement that he followed until his death in 2022.

When World War II began, Frank enlisted in the army. He talked intently about how his experiences in the military shaped him. Back in Oregon, he worked in the family business, first in the Portland Meier & Frank store, and then building and managing the branch store in Salem. When the family business sold, Frank dedicated his life to public service.

Then Gov. Mark Hatfield asked Frank to run his first campaign for the US Senate, a successful feat he repeated four times. As Sen. Hatfield’s chief of staff from 1973-1992, Frank hired more than 600 staff, made the office a welcome extension of Oregon and supported the senator’s iconoclastic principles. “We made every effort to follow the senator’s views on those things: he was anti-war, he was anti-guns, he was anti-abortion, all the things that were hot buttons.”

After stepping out of the political arena, Gerry Frank continued to write his popular guidebooks on Oregon and New York City. He also judged the Oregon State Fair chocolate cake contests and was a significant philanthropist for many causes and organizations.

– Interview recorded August 22, 2019