How did Lord Keynes die?

Dentist

The history … I have to tell you [is] this. You can put it on the record or off, whichever you want, it’s kind of amusing and you’ll enjoy it.

I went back in October of ’46, and the first thing I did when I got back to Washington for any period of time I had been back and forth all the time in between was to get my teeth fixed at the dentist. And the dentist was a great guy. He filled teeth with gold and he believed in the gold standard and these fool economists who wanted to get off the gold standard were silly, because all this meant was the price of gold went up. Anyhow, he’d get me there to fix my teeth and read me a lecture on the gold standard. He said, “Mr. Blaisdell, you know Lord Keynes?”

I said, “Yes, I know him.”

“Well, you know, when he was here last time?”

And I said, “Yes, I know, I know very well.”

He said, “Well, he has trouble with teeth and continuously failed to fix them. I looked at him and I [the dentist] said, ‘Lord Keynes, I think we’d better take this tooth out. It should be extracted. It’s causing you trouble.’ And Keynes said, “No.”

He said, “Well, Lord Keynes, really, it’s infected. It’s a bad abscess, and I would advise you to have it out.”

And Keynes said, “No, please drain it, I will have it taken care of when I get back to London.”

Said the dentist, “I told Lord Keynes, ‘You let that tooth go and in six weeks you’ll be dead.’ ”

And, by golly, in six weeks he was dead.

———–

[Oral History Interview with Thomas C. Blaisdell, Jr. , pp.42-44. Retrieved from The Truman Library.]

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