Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

John L. Lewis

John L. Lewis, 1944

In honor of the upcoming Labor Day holiday in the US, we present John L. Lewis. Lewis was an American leader of organized labor who served as president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) from 1920 to 1960. A major player in the history of coal mining, he was the driving force behind the founding of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), which established the United Steel Workers of America and helped organize millions of other industrial workers in the 1930s.

After resigning as head of the CIO in 1941, he took the Mine Workers out of the CIO in 1942 and in 1944, the year that he was photographed by Karsh, he took the union into the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Read more (Wikipedia)

Karsh described Lewis as “Flinty and colorful.”