The leader of the powerful AFL-CIO union has died. He was 72. (Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Author: NPR Staff
Published: 2021-08-05 12:44 pm
Powerful U.S. Labor Leader Richard Trumka Dies

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is seen in 2019. The powerful labor leader has died.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Richard Trumka, the leader of the powerful AFL-CIO union and a close ally of Democratic officials, has died. He was 72.

Liz Shuler, the secretary-treasurer of the 12.5-million-member organization, confirmed Trumka's passing on Twitter.

"The labor movement, the AFL-CIO and the nation lost a legend today - and I lost a dear friend," she wrote. "Rich Trumka devoted his life to working people, from his early days as president of the UMWA to his unparalleled leadership as the voice of America's labor movement."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also announced Trumka's passing on the Senate floor Thursday. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said in a statement that Trumka was "a fierce advocate for working people and a truly decent man."

Trumka has lead the AFL-CIO since 2009. He was secretary-treasurer of the organization for more than a decade before that.

In 1982, at age 33, Trumka was elected the youngest president of the United Mine Workers of America, according to his AFL-CIO biography.

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