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Walter Reuther

Дата рождения: 1. Сентябрь 1907
Дата смерти: 9. Май 1970

Walter Philip Reuther was an American leader of organized labor and civil rights activist who built the United Automobile Workers into one of the most progressive labor unions in American history. He saw labor movements not as narrow special interest groups but as instruments to advance social justice and human rights in democratic societies. He leveraged the UAW's resources and influence to advocate for workers' rights, civil rights, women's rights, universal health care, public education, affordable housing, environmental stewardship, nuclear nonproliferation, and democratic trade unionism around the world. He survived two attempted assassinations, including one at home where he was struck by a 12-gauge shotgun blast fired through his kitchen window. He was the fourth and longest serving president of the UAW, serving from 1946 until his untimely death in 1970.A powerful ally of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement, Reuther marched with King in Detroit, Selma, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Jackson. When King and others including children were jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, and King authored his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, Reuther arranged $160,000 for the protestors' release. He also helped organize and finance the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, delivering remarks from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial shortly before King gave his historic "I Have a Dream" speech on the National Mall. He served on the board of directors for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was one of the founders of Americans for Democratic Action. An early supporter of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, he asked Robert F. Kennedy to visit and support Chavez. A lifetime environmentalist, Reuther played a critical role in funding and organizing the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. According to Denis Hayes, the principal national organizer of the first Earth Day, "Without the UAW, the first Earth Day would have likely flopped!"As the leader of five million autoworkers including retirees and their families, Reuther was influential inside the Democratic Party. During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt frequently consulted Reuther, referring to him as "my young red-headed engineer." He was considered by John F. Kennedy for Vice President in 1960. Following the Bay of Pigs in 1961, JFK sent Reuther to Cuba to negotiate a prisoner exchange with Fidel Castro. He was instrumental in spearheading the creation of the Peace Corps and in marshaling support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Medicare and Medicaid, and the Fair Housing Act. He met weekly in 1964 and 1965 with President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House to discuss policies and legislation for the Great Society and War on Poverty. The Republican Party was wary of Reuther, leading presidential candidate Richard Nixon to say about John F. Kennedy during the 1960 election, "I can think of nothing so detrimental to this nation than for any President to owe his election to, and therefore be a captive of, a political boss like Walter Reuther." Conservative politician Barry Goldwater declared that "[Reuther] was more dangerous to our country than Sputnik or anything Soviet Russia might do."Reuther was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 by President Bill Clinton, who remarked at the ceremony, "Walter Reuther was an American visionary so far ahead of his times that although he died a quarter of a century ago, our Nation has yet to catch up to his dreams." Reuther was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Murray Kempton, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, wrote, "Walter Reuther is the only man I have ever met who could reminisce about the future." A. H. Raskin, labor editor of The New York Times, wrote, "If the speed of a man's mind could be measured in the same way as the speed of his legs, Walter Reuther would be an Olympic champion." George Romney, Governor of Michigan, once said, "Walter Reuther is the most dangerous man in Detroit because no one is more skillful in bringing about the revolution without seeming to disrupt the existing forms of society."

„We believe that it is not enough to fight against the things that we oppose—we must fight with equal courage and equal dedication for the things that we believe in.“

—  Walter Reuther

Address before the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, India, April 5, 1956, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 131
1950s, Address before the Indian Council on World Affairs (1956)

„Democratic nations must seek and find unity in diversity, while Communists achieve unity through conformity.“

—  Walter Reuther

Address before the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, India, April 5, 1956, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 133
1950s, Address before the Indian Council on World Affairs (1956)

„You cannot save democracy in a vacuum of idealism. You have got to be motivated by idealism, but you have got to also be fighting the hard problem of practical politics.“

—  Walter Reuther

Statement to the Senate Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections, Washington, D.C., October 9, 1956, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 170
1950s, Statement to the Senate Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections (1956)

„All the learned men with all their wisdom, with all of the legal niceties they can put together on the finest of parchment, cannot produce one ton of steel.“

—  Walter Reuther

Address accepting the Presidency of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, Atlantic City, New Jersey, December 4, 1952, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 51
1940s, Address accepting the Presidency of the CIO (1952)

„The struggle against racial intolerance and racial discrimination and bigotry must be waged everywhere in the world wherever such immoral and ugly practices exist.“

—  Walter Reuther

Address before the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, India, April 5, 1956, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 141
1950s, Address before the Indian Council on World Affairs (1956)

„Only in an atmosphere of freedom can the creative genius of the human spirit find full expression.“

—  Walter Reuther

Address before the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, India, April 5, 1956, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 135
1950s, Address before the Indian Council on World Affairs (1956)

„The great challenge before us is to find a way to get people and nations working together in the positive and rewarding task of peace as they have repeatedly joined together in the senseless and destructive waging of war.“

—  Walter Reuther

Address before the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, India, April 5, 1956, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 141
1950s, Address before the Indian Council on World Affairs (1956)

„We must learn to judge people, not by their color or race or creed, but rather by their worth as human beings.“

—  Walter Reuther

Address before the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, India, April 5, 1956, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 141
1950s, Address before the Indian Council on World Affairs (1956)

„There is no greater calling than to serve your brother. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.“

—  Walter Reuther

Closing Address at the final convention of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, New York, New York, December 2, 1955, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 102
1950s, Closing address at the final convention of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (1955)

„We have to reassert the sovereignty of people above profits in America.“

—  Walter Reuther

Opening address of the twelfth constitutional convention of the UAW, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 10, 1949, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 43
1940s, Opening address of the twelfth constitutional convention of the UAW (1949)

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„Free labor understands and acts in the knowledge the the struggle for peace and the struggle for human freedom are inseparably tied together with the struggle for social justice.“

—  Walter Reuther

Address before the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, India, April 5, 1956, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 131
1950s, Address before the Indian Council on World Affairs (1956)

„The great challenge before us is to find a way to use the bright promise of science and technology in a massive retaliation against poverty, hunger, and social injustice in the world.“

—  Walter Reuther

Address before the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, India, April 5, 1956, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 130
1950s, Address before the Indian Council on World Affairs (1956)

„Let us never forget that he who would serve God must prove that he is worthy by serving man.“

—  Walter Reuther

Closing Address at the final convention of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, New York, New York, December 2, 1955, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 102
1950s, Closing address at the final convention of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (1955)

„Free management must realize that in a free society there is no substitute for the voluntary discharge of social responsibility.“

—  Walter Reuther

Address accepting the Presidency of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, Atlantic City, New Jersey, December 4, 1952, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 51
1940s, Address accepting the Presidency of the CIO (1952)

„We say to American industry, if you can afford to pay pension plans to people who don't need them, then by the eternal gods you are going to have to pay them to people who do need them.“

—  Walter Reuther

Opening address of the twelfth constitutional convention of the UAW, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 10, 1949, as quoted in Walter P Reuther: Selected Papers (1961), by Henry M. Christman, p. 41
1940s, Opening address of the twelfth constitutional convention of the UAW (1949)

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