News your connection to The Boston Globe

Victor Reuther, joined brothers in promoting the UAW union

DETROIT -- Victor Reuther, who along with his brothers Walter and Roy helped make the United Auto Workers union a powerful force in the American labor movement, died Thursday, a UAW spokesman said. He was 92.

The three brothers moved to Detroit in the 1930s to lead a changing American labor movement. Walter became UAW president, while Roy served as the union's legislative director.

Victor Reuther joined Kelsey Hayes Wheel Co. in 1936 as an assembly line worker and became a member of UAW Local 174, serving as a strike leader.

He went on to lead the UAW's education department and, in 1955, was appointed director of the union's international affairs department.

Mr. Reuther retired from the UAW in 1972 and received its Social Justice Award, the union's highest honor.

Many historians consider his memoir, "The Brothers Reuther," to be among the most lively tales ever written about the American labor movement.

But the Reuther brothers paid for their commitment to the labor cause.

Walter and Victor were both victims of assassination attempts.

In 1949, Victor was sitting in his Detroit home when a shotgun blast fired through a window hit him in the face, throat, and shoulder.

Roy Reuther died in 1968, and Walter Reuther died in a plane crash in 1970.

Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives