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David Mason (art dealer)

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Name  David Mason

David Mason (art dealer) BBC Two David Mason OBE Thalidomide The Fifty Year Fight

David Leslie Mason OBE (born 15 March 1939) is a London art dealer and Thalidomide parent activist. He is the parent of a daughter, Louise, disabled by Thalidomide.

David Mason (art dealer) BBC Two David Mason OBE Thalidomide The Fifty Year Fight

Mason alone refused the initial offered settlement of £3 million by Distillers Company, which was only to be awarded if all the parents agreed. As a result of which he and his daughter suffered harassment and ostracism. His daughter was removed from his care, due to action by his solicitors and other parents supporting settlement, who believed he was not acting in her best interests by refusing settlement. He launched an appeal, which was successful due to evidence of a more substantial settlement in the USA ($2.7m to Shirley McCarrick in Los Angeles); finally, a Sunday Times story prompted Jack Ashley MP to take up the case in Parliament, and Ralph Nader to organise a boycott of Distillers products in the USA. Distillers increased the offer to £5m and then £20m, which was accepted. The settlement is credited with transforming the lives of British thalidomide victims.

The Thalidomide Trust is now largely funded by Diageo, who bought Distillers and its assets and liabilities.

Mason's book Thalidomide: My Fight was published in 1976. He was awarded the OBE in the 1996 Birthday Honours 'for services to health charities'.

Mason was educated at Highgate School, where he studied under Kyffin Williams. Alongside the family art business, in 1957 he began his involvement with motor racing and in the 1970s he became a sponsor of Formula One. After returning to the sport in 2010 he won the Britcar Endurance Championship in 2014, driving a Ferrari 458 with Calum Lockie.

References

David Mason (art dealer) Wikipedia


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