Walter Reuther Quotes

The coalition of conscience

Walter Reuther
Walter Reuther
  • Born: September 1, 1907
  • Died: May 9, 1970
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Labor Union Leader

Walter Philip Reuther was an American leader of organized labor and civil rights activist who built the United Automobile Workers (UAW) 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 president of the UAW, serving from 1946 until his untimely death in 1970. A household name during his life, Reuther's legacy is all but forgotten to history.