Hamburger Heiress Kroc Declares War on Arms Race

Times Staff Writer

McDonald’s hamburger heiress Joan B. Kroc spent $400,000 for full-page advertisements in 23 major newspapers across the nation Thursday quoting the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s condemnation of the arms race in what a spokesman said was the beginning of an international campaign against the buildup of nuclear weapons.

The ad, timed to appear on the traditional date for Memorial Day, featured an excerpt from Eisenhower’s 1953 speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in which Eisenhower said: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

“This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. . . .”

The ad urged those who agree with Eisenhower’s statements to send the newspaper page and personal comments to U.S. representatives and senators.


Among the newspapers in which the ad appeared were the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

Kroc, 56, is the widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc and owner of the San Diego Padres baseball team. She was traveling to New York on Thursday en route to a vacation in Europe and was not available for comment.

‘Decent and Workable Peace’

Mike Sund, a spokesman for the Joan B. Kroc Foundation, released a statement in which Kroc said: “I have been blessed with the means to put my convictions to work, and no conviction I have is greater than that nothing makes sense in our lives unless we create the basis for a decent and workable peace in the world.


“We are sliding toward a total breakdown of human society because we are giving less attention to the need to protect the rights of generations to come than we are giving to our lawns or swimming pools.”

Sund said Kroc “feels that it is important for American citizens to act and speak out on this issue.”

Kroc, Sund said, supports a bilateral disarmament of nuclear weapons. “She is not suggesting that America should disarm itself and see what the Soviets do,” Sund said.

First Step in Campaign


The ads are the first step in what promises to be a lengthy campaign waged by Kroc against the defense buildup and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

On Aug. 6, Sund said, Kroc will be in Hiroshima to mark the 40th anniversary of the nuclear attack on that city. At Hiroshima, Kroc will join leaders of the peace movement from around the world in urging a bilateral cessation of nuclear weapons testing.

In addition, Sund said, Kroc has commissioned the printing of 500,000 paperback copies of “Missile Envy,” a book written by Helen Caldicott, founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility and a long-time leader in the drive for nuclear disarmament.

The books, Sund said, should be printed within several months and will be distributed free to prominent educators, government officials and opinion makers throughout the country.