Coal Miner’s Son: Rich Trumka, 1949-2021

Rich Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO who died suddenly today of a heart attack, was born and raised in Nemacolin, a small town near Pittsburgh. If anyone could claim to be a son of the white working class—that onetime anchor of the New Deal coalition that has drifted steadily rightward in recent decades—it surely was Trumka. His father was a second-generation Polish American who worked in the mines; his mother was an Italian American homemaker.

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