Voices of Minnesota

Oral History Interview with Charles H. Bell

DATE: October 2, 1998

INTERVIEWER: James P. Shannon

Charles Heffelfinger Bell was president of General Mills from 1952 to 1961 and chairman from 1961 to 1967. He died in 2003 at the age of 95.

In this interview he recalls the various positions he held at General Mills, and the people with whom he worked. He discusses the Company's creation by his father, its growth and development, and both structural and management changes over the years. In addition, he describes the creation of the Belwin Foundation, which he and his wife founded to deal with conservation and related issues. The interview was conducted by James P. Shannon, former General Mills executive and head of the General Mills Foundation and the Minneapolis Foundation. The interview also includes comments by Minnesota Historical Society director Nina Archabal, and by Bell's grandson and Belwin Foundation administrator, David Hartwell.

LENGTH OF INTERVIEW: 2 hours 4 minutes

TRANSCRIPT: 30 pages