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Bill Haywood
Bill haywood headshot side.jpg
3rd and 5th General Secretary-Treasurer of the Industrial Workers of the World
In office
February 1918 – December 1918
Preceded by Fred Hardy (acting)
Succeeded by Peter Stone
In office
January 1915 – September 1917
Preceded by Vincent St. John
Succeeded by Fred Hardy (acting)
Personal details
Born
William Richard Haywood

(1869-02-04)February 4, 1869
Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, U.S.
Died May 18, 1928(1928-05-18) (aged 59)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, USSR
Resting place Kremlin Wall Necropolis, Moscow
Nationality American
Political party Communist
Socialist (until 1913)
Spouse(s)
Nevada Jane Minor
(m. 1889; her death 1920)
Children
  • Vern (b. 1890)
  • Henrietta (b. 1897)
Parents
  • William Dudley
  • Elizabeth
Occupation Labor leader and activist
Signature Wm. D Haywood

William Dudley "Big Bill" Haywood (February 4, 1869 – May 18, 1928) was a founding member and leader of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and a member of the executive committee of the Socialist Party of America. During the first two decades of the 20th century, Haywood was involved in several important labor battles, including the Colorado Labor Wars, the Lawrence Textile Strike, and other textile strikes in Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Haywood was an advocate of industrial unionism, a labor philosophy that favors organizing all workers in an industry under one union, regardless of the specific trade or skill level; this was in contrast to the craft unions that were prevalent at the time, such as the AFL. He believed that workers of all ethnicities should be united, and favored direct action over political action.

Haywood was often targeted by prosecutors due to his support for violence. An attempt to prosecute him in 1907 for his alleged involvement in the murder of Frank Steunenberg failed, but in 1918 he was one of 101 IWW members jailed for anti-war activity during the First Red Scare. He was sentenced to twenty years. In 1921, while out of prison during an appeal of his conviction, Haywood fled to the Soviet Union, where he spent the remaining years of his life.

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