Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jacob S. Potofsky by Michael Longmire

Bookplate of Jacob S. Potofsky .

He was the president of The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.

This article was submitted by fellow collector Michael Longmire,

Lew - attached is a scanned photo ca 1950's of Jacob "Jack" Potofsky. Photo taken in Atlantic City where the ACWA held many of their conventions.The gentleman on the left is Frank Rosenblum. I don't recall the middle person's name offhand. To the right of Jack is David Monas. Jacob S. Potofsky, onetime president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Jack, as he was popularly known, was born in Kiev in 1884 and arrived in America in 1908. Although only 13 at the time he quickly gained employment with the firm of Hart, Schaffner, and Marx, a large clothing manufacturer in Chicago. In his late teens he became acquainted with Sydney Hillman and became active in the labor cause. His later studies at the Hebrew Learning Institute of Chicago not only afforded him an introduction into American History and the arts in general but served him well in his rise to General Secretary - Treasurer of the ACWA under Hillman. In 1946, after the death of Sydney Hillman, Jack Potofsky was unanimously elected to succeed him as president of the union. In the ensuing years he continued his pioneering efforts to provide credit unions and banking services to his union members. Jack was also instrumental in various early cooperative housing programs in New York. As president of the Sydney Hillman Foundation he worked to better educate his union members, extending the philosophy embodied by the late Sydney Hillman that a well treated workforce was better to the financial and competitive well being of the company they worked for. Jack passed away in 1979.

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