1907 - - - - - 1970
"- - - - Whose memory is enshrined in the hearts of all of us."
Born at Wheeling, W. Va. Sept. 1, 1907, the son of Valentine and Anna Reuther. One of four brothers, the oldest Theodore and two younger brothers Roy and Victor, both of whom also became leaders in the United Auto Workers.
After learning to be Die Maker, Reuther went to Detroit, worked at Ford Plant and lost his job because of Union activity; Toured Russia and Europe working in many auto plants. Married May Wolf, Union School Teacher, March 13, 1936 in Detroit. Sept. 1, 1936 organized, elected President of West Side Local 174, UAW; May 1937 fought "Battle of Overpass" at Rouge Plant; 1941, Ford signs with UAW; 1946, elected President of UAW; 1948 wounded by would-be assassin; 1952, elected President CIO; 1955. Leads merger of AFL-CIO; 1968 UAW leaves AFL-CIO as Independent Union; May 9, 1970 dies in plane crash near Pellston, Mich. with wife, two aides.
Advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt throughout World War II: in forefront of Civil Liberties fight for blacks through turbulent 1960's; visited Debs House and received Eugene V. Debs Award for Labor Sept 21, 1968.
"His aim and purpose were economic and social justice. But to him, the ideals of social justice, economic security, peace and freedom, human dignity and human brotherhood were not matters merely for philosophic discourse but practical goals to achieve. Dreams to be made real."
Irving Bluestone, his Administrative Assistant in Eulogy at funeral