Harold Stassen became the youngest governor in Minnesota's history, at the age of 31, in 1938. He was reelected in 1940 and 1942. He joined the Navy in 1943 as a lieutenant commander and chief of staff to Admiral William Halsey in the South Pacific. In 1945, Mr. Stassen helped to write the United Nations Charter when President Roosevelt named him to the American Delegation to the first United Nations Conference in San Francisco.
Mr. Stassen continued his career in politics, holding several positions in government at the state level. Until his death in 2001, he had been working on a 129-page proposal to revise the United Nations Charter. In this interview, conducted on 29 April 1983, Mr. Stassen discusses the birth of the United Nations—the overall excitement and hope, the concerns, and the relevance of the United Nations Charter towards future generations.