(February 4, 1869-May 18, 1928)
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah
Secretary-Treasurer of the Western Federation of Miners (1902-05)
Founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
Secretary-treasurer of the IWW (1913-21)
Acquitted on charges of ordering the murder of Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg (1907)
Nicknamed 'Big Bill'
Why he might be annoying
He was fond of comments like, 'Confiscate! That's good! I like that word. It suggests stripping the capitalist, taking something away from him. But there has got to be a good deal of force to this thing of taking.'
He was ejected from the Socialist Party for advocating sabotage and violence.
After being convicted of 'conspiring to hinder the draft' during WWI, he skipped bail while out on appeal and fled to the Soviet Union.
He married a Russian woman with whom he had to communicate using sign language, since he did not speak Russian and she did speak English.
Why he might not be annoying
He was blinded in his right eye at age nine as a result of an injury while whittling a slingshot.
At age nine, he began working in the mines.
Noting the numerous scars he suffered from dangerous mining work, he quipped 'I've never read Marx's 'Kapital,' but I've got the marks of capital all over me.'
Unlike many labor leaders of the time, he believed workers of all ethnicities should belong to the same union, saying that the IWW was 'big enough to take in the black man, the white man; big enough to take in all nationalities.'
Credit: C. Fishel
Share this link with a friend:
Year In Review:
In 2016, Out of 7 Votes: 100% Annoying
In 2015, Out of 34 Votes: 23.53% Annoying
In 2014, Out of 6 Votes: 83.33% Annoying
In 2013, Out of 18 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
In 2012, Out of 21 Votes: 71.43% Annoying
In 2011, Out of 53 Votes: 73.58% Annoying
Featured in the following Annoying Collections: