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  Foster, William Z.
NameWilliam Z. Foster
Chicago, Illinois , United States
Born February 25, 1881
DiedSeptember 01, 1961 (80 years)
Last ModifedRBH
Sep 25, 2016 07:23pm
InfoWilliam Zebulon Foster was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, on 25th February, 1881. The family moved to Philadelphia, and at the age of ten Foster was forced to leave school in search of work. He travelled the country working in a variety of unskilled jobs.

Foster joined the Socialist Party in 1901 and eight years later the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). He was involved in the free speech campaign and was imprisoned after a demonstration in Spokane. Foster gradually emerged as was one of the leaders of the movement and in 1911 represented the IWW at the International Union Conference in Budapest. When Foster returned he argued that the IWW should disband so that its members could join and eventually capture the American Federation of Labour. When this was rejected, Foster left the IWW.

After the war, Foster, a railway car inspector in Chicago, joined the American Federation of Labour. He moved up the hierarchy and by 1920 he managed to persuade the AFL annual conference to pass a resolution in favour of government ownership of the railroads. The following year he supported John L. Lewis when he challenged Samuel Gompers for the presidency of the AFL.

Foster joined the American Communist Party and in 1924, 1928 and 1932 ran for the presidency. In 1932 he suffered a serious heart attack and Earl Browder replaced him as leader of the party. However, in 1945, he was once again elected as chairman of the Communist Party.

Foster was a loyal supporter of the leadership of the Soviet Union and refused to condemn the regime's record on human rights. After Foster failed to criticize the Soviet suppression of the Hungarian Revolution, he was removed from power. William Zebulon Foster died in Moscow on 1st September, 1961.


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Importance? 7.50000 Average

Wife Esther Abramovich Foster Mar 23, 1918-Sep 01, 1961

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