John L. Lewis

John L Lewis

In late August of 1922, Silver Bay hosted leaders in banking, labor and politics to discuss “Human Relations in Industry.” Among the speakers was John L. Lewis, soon to become a legend in organized labor.

John Llewellyn Lewis (1880-1969) was the newly elected president of the United Mine Workers of America, a position he held from 1920 to 1960. As a thundering advocate for coal miners, he brought them higher wages, safer working conditions, pensions and medical benefits. He was also the driver behind the founding of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), which helped organize millions of other industrial workers in the 1930s.

Lewis was known for his bushy eyebrows and ever-present scowl, and his stormy visage appeared on the cover of Time magazine six times.


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