Saturday, October 06, 2012

USW Founder Heads For A Better Place

George Edwards was born March 24, 1918 in Philip, South Dakota. His first award in life was the 201st birth certificate in the county. George grew up in a log and sod house in pre-school years. During WWII, George was stationed in Ft. Benning, Georgia, where he attended Officers Candidate School. After his discharge from the Army, he got his BA degree in psychology from the University of Tennessee before entering Oberlin Seminary where he took two years of theology with the intention of becoming a minister. He then took two years of law at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

In 1942, George joined Local 1104 of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) in Lorain, Ohio, and later that same year, attended the Founding Convention of the USWA as a guest. George was a Machinist.

George was founding Editor of the union newspaper, the “Lorain Labor Leader” which at one time was the largest labor publication in the State of Ohio. George held various positions in his Local Union including Trustee and Vice President. He served as President of the Lorain County CIO Council, but lost all leadership positions during the McCarthy era. He was also co-chair of the National Steelworkers Rank and File Committee in the 70’s. In 1981, he retired from U.S. Steel after 39 years, retiring as a Machinist Apprentice Instructor.

George was a Founding Member of SOAR, becoming a charter member in 1985. He organized SOAR chapter 20-15 where he was the chapter president since 1993. He became a SOAR Coordinator, and later the District 10 SOAR Executive Board Member. George was appointed SOAR Board Member Emeritus by United Steelworkers of America International President Leo W. Gerard. He has worked as a volunteer in the SOAR office in Pittsburgh since 1989, and was the Associate Editor of the “SOAR in Action” magazine.

George passed away yesterday, October 6, 2012 and will surely be missed by us all.

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