Who was A. Philip Randolph?


Randolph, A(sa) Philip (1889-1979), American labor leader, born in Crescent City, Florida. During his youth Randolph worked as a section hand on a railroad. Upon completion of high school, he moved to New York City and attended the College of the City of New York. During his student days, he organized a small union of elevator operators.

Concerned over the treatment of black employees on railroads, Randolph organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925. It was the first union of predominantly black workers to be granted a charter by the American Federation of Labor. After more than ten years of struggle, his union won recognition as bargaining agent with the Pullman Company.

A longtime supporter of civil liberties, Randolph was instrumental in persuading President Franklin D. Roosevelt to set up the Fair Employment Practices Committee. In 1957 Randolph was elected a vice-president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. He was also one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington, a civil rights gathering of more than 200,000 in the nation’s capital.

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