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Vito Marcantonio
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U.S. Congressman
    (December 10, 1902-August 9, 1954)
    Born in East Harlem, New York City, New York
    Influential leader in the American Labor Party (ALP)
    Birth name was Vito Anthony Marcantonio
    Represented New York's 18th District in the House of Representatives (1935-1937, 1939-1945)
    Represented New York's 18th District (1945-1951)
    Attained a posthumous following after the publication of his collected speeches, 'I Vote My Conscience,' in 1956
    He subsidized his own political career.
    He was known for his ties to several high-profile Communist sympathist groups.
    His legal clients included Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman .
    His lone opposition to the Korean War probably killed his political career.
    He attained more popularity after his death than when he was alive, mainly with 1960s student radicals who discovered his writings.
    He joined the American Peace Mobilization in protest of American entry into WWII (basically a leftist equivalent to the America First Committee).
    He lost reelection to his House seat twice and lost the New York Mayoral race in 1949.
    He was the only member of the House who refused to join a standing ovation for President Truman when he called for Marshall Plan aid for Western Europe.
    His socialist views were so infamous that he figured prominently in the Nixon Senate campaign's strategy to paint Helen Gahagan Douglas as a radical leftist with communist ties in 1950.
    Most famously, the campaign released flyers matching Gahagan's voting record with Marcantonio's record to prove that she was 'pink right down to her underwear.'
    He spoke English, Italian, Yiddish, and Spanish.
    He allegedly saw as many as 400 distressed constituents a day.
    He was a longtime colleague and confidante of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.
    He championed then-unpopular causes, like federal anti-lynching legislation.
    He successfully passed legislation to mandate safety procedures in coal mines.
    He annually argued for anti-segregation and anti–poll tax legislation over a decade before it became respectable to do so.
    He defended Mexican miners and union leaders from the threat of deportation (and in his Freshman year in Congress).
    He played a crucial role in dispelling a 1938 race riot between Puerto Rican and Italian gangs in East Harlem.
    He successfully defended W.E.B. Du Bois from charges of espionage (1951).
    His family was left destitute after he died and, due to McCarthyism, were forced to seek work under assumed names.
    The anti-Communist hysteria even within the Catholic Church resulted in his being denied proper burial rites (officials claimed his communist leanings made him a lapsed Catholic).
    At his wake, a black father allegedly picked his young son up to show him the body, saying 'I want you to say goodbye to the best friend the Negro people ever had.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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