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Lewis, John

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Definition: Lewis, John Llewellyn from

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

, John Llewellyn 1880–1969.


American labor leader who was president of the United Mine Workers of America (1920–1960) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (1935–1940).

Summary Article: Lewis, John Llewellyn from The Columbia Encyclopedia
Lewis, John Llewellyn, 1880-1969, American labor leader, b. Lucas co., Iowa; son of a Welsh immigrant coal miner. He became a miner and after 1906 rose through the union ranks to become president (1920) of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW). Forceful and determined, Lewis fought vigorously to build up the union, won the loyalty of the miners, and thus consolidated his own power. He was one of the most important figures in the American Federation of Labor (AFL) until, moved by the desire to unionize the mass production industries, he split with the AFL and its leader, William Green. Taking several of the largest unions with him, Lewis founded (1935) a new organization, the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO; see American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations). He had supported Franklin Delano Roosevelt for President in 1932 and had welcomed the New Deal, but cooln...    Continue Reading
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