Joseph Frederick Cullman, III

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Joseph Cullman on 1971 "Face the Nation" show

Joseph Frederick Cullman, III was a Philip Morris President & CEO from 1957-1970. Cullman was Executive Vice President and Senior Marketing Executive of Philip Morris in the 1950s. Exec. Vice President from 1955-57. President in 1958, held that position until 1967. Chairman from 1968-1972 and acquired title of CEO. Chairman of the Executive Committee, 1979-85. On the Board of Directors from 1954-1985.


Went along with warning label. Was uncertain about about the correct direction for the company (whether Philip Morris should diversify or stay with tobacco). PM scientist William Anthony Farone was setting up deals to buy into Cetus Corp, or in the alternative Genentech. Marlboro had so much money, they didn't know what to buy next. Cullman engineered purchase of 7-Up. Vice President for Philip Morris, Inc. in 1954. He was an Executive Vice President from 1955 to 1957. He became President in 1958 and held that position until 1967. Chairman from 1968 to 1972 and in 1972 he also acquired the title of CEO. From 1979 to 1985 he became Chairman of the Executive Committee. He was on the Board of Directors from 1954 to 1985.

Tobacco family relationships

Joseph Cullman III's brother is Edgar Cullman, Sr., who is the chairman of the Culbro Corporation, the parent company of General Cigar, which owns and manufactures Macanudo, Partagas, Temple Hall, Ramon Allones cigars and the Garcia y Vega machine-made brand. It also owns the U.S. rights to Bolivar, Cifuentes and Cohiba cigars.[1]

Key tobacco industry documents

Face the Nation appearance, 1971

In a 1971 Face the Nation Television interview, Morton Mintz of the Washington Post confronted Joseph Cullman, III (then Chairman of the Board of Philip Morris) with information about a massive study done in the United Kingdom that showed that babies of smoking mothers had a greater incidence of low birth weight than non-smoking mothers, and that babies of smoking mothers had an increased risk of stillbirth and death within 28 days of birth. Cullman acknowledged that he was aware of the study and its results. His response: "Some women would prefer having smaller babies."

When Mintz asked Cullman "What about the higher rate of death?" Cullman replied,

"I'm not familiar with that."

The passages of interest are on Pages 14-15 of the transcript. Interviewers are: George Herman, CBS News, Morton Mintz, The Washington Post, Earl Ubell, Science Editor, WCBS-TV News.[2]

Industry Strategy No. 1

Joseph Cullman, III was the recipient of the memo, Industry Strategy No. 1, written by George Weissman in 1969.

Sourcewatch resources

External resources

  • Deposition of JOSEPH FREDERICK CULLMAN, III, June 11, 1997, MINNESOTA v. PHILIP MORRIS INC., Deposition, 1997. Summary: Joseph Frederick Cullman III, former CEO of Philip Morris, was deposed by the plaintiffs. He covered his work history with Philip Morris and the internal policy making structure. He provided details on the series of events that changed the landscape on smoking-and-health issues. He summarized the response by the industry, including the Frank Statement, industry-sponsored research and changes in cigarette design. He explained Philip Morris current position on smoking and health, acknowledging that smoking is a risk factor but disputing other contentions of the public health community. He discussed on the Surgeon Generals reports and the subsequent fall-out. He commented on biological improvement of products, mandated warning labels on cigarette packages, advertising practices and legislated restraints, the Twin Study, his Congressional testimony and Face the Nation appearance.


  1. Marvin R. Shanken Edgar Cullman, Sr., Cigar Aficiondo, September 1, 1996
  2. Columbia Broadcasting System FACE THE NATION AS BROADCAST OVER THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK AND THE CBS RADIO NETWORK SUNDAY, 710103 -- 11:30 A.M. - 12:00 NOON EST ORIGINATION: WASHINGTON, D.C., Transcript, January 3, 1971, 19 pages, Bates No. 1005081714/1732

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