September 7, 2009

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(John L. Lewis - even at 80 he was still busy drilling)

John L. Lewis certainly looms large in the annals organized labor history. Going back to the early 1900's, Lewis was a staunch organizer, leader and outspoken critic. He had his fair share of run-ins with the government, not to mention Management. But he was always on the side of the worker, always fighting for safe conditions. He didn't endear himself to the press, as was evidenced by this Meet The Press appearance on May 31, 1959.

Clark Mollenhoff: “Mister Lewis, while you were before the committee a week or two ago, you said that, during all those years, those early years in labor ‘I occupied the proud position that Jimmy Hoffa occupies today’. Now, do you really think that’s a proud position in labor?”

John L. Lewis: “Have you any sense of humor, at all?”

He certainly didn't pull any punches and the show ended six minutes early.

But John L. Lewis was just like that.

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