Samuel Gompers - Encyclopedia




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SAMUEL GOMPERS (1850-), American labour leader, was born in London on the 27th of January 1850. He was put to work in a shoe-factory when ten years old, but soon became apprenticed to a cigar-maker, removed to New York in 1863, became a prominent member of the International Cigar-makers' Union, was its delegate at the convention of the Federation of Organized Trade and Labor Unions of the United States and Canada, later known as the American Federation of Labor, of which he became first president in 1882. He was successively re-elected up to 1895, when the opposition of the Socialist Labor Party, then attempting to incorporate the Federation into itself, secured his defeat; he was re-elected in the following year. In 1894 he became editor of the Federation's organ, The American Federationist.

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