Pauling’s resolute stand made him an even greater hero within the peace movement. At a rally in New York two weeks after his
final SISS appearance, more than 2,000 people turned out to hear him; hundreds more had to be turned away. His ordeal with
the Senate ended up a triumph, in a way, but Pauling was also deeply angered by the experience -- an anger that he translated
into a series of libel suits against media that continued to attack him as a Communist dupe. He launched five libel suits
during the year after his SISS appearance, and stopped only when US law was changed in ways that made it very difficult for
public figures to claim libel.
Through it all, Pauling seemed to grow increasingly thin-skinned, less able to accept even casual references to him as "a
semi-prominent American loudmouth," as one newspaper put it in a phrase that spurred a half-million-dollar Pauling lawsuit.
Turning away from the media, Pauling started criticizing a group he called "egghead millionaires," researchers who parlayed
their talents into fortunes working for the defense industry making bigger and better weapons. To Pauling, the egghead millionaires
were ultimate symbols of the betrayal and corruption of the sciences. It all seemed to divert him from his major work against
nuclear weapons. Pauling, at the peak of his renown as a peace activist, seemed to be growing increasingly cranky, litigious,
and impolitic -- a loose cannon as much as a moral leader.
Click images to enlarge
"Rare Courage." October 12, 1960.
Letter from Linus Pauling to Fred Okrand. April 28, 1960.
"There’s no doubt that we have in this country a very powerful group of people, 'defense contractors,' so-called, who are
profiting greatly from the military activities, and who will oppose international agreements that lead to a decrease in the