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 Harry Lundeberg

Harry Lundeberg

Birth
Oslo, Oslo kommune, Oslo fylke, Norway
Death 28 Jan 1957 (aged 56)
Burlingame, San Mateo County, California, USA
Burial Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA
Memorial ID 125119465 · View Source
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Labor Leader. One of the West's best known labor leaders. Head of the powerful Sailors' Union of the Pacific and an uncompromising foe of communism in labor, 6-foot-2-inch Harry Lundeberg was a Big Boss of Tough Sailors. He served as Secretary-treasurer of the Sailors' Union of the Pacific, the highest position in the union; president of the Seafarers international Union of North America; head of the AFL-CIO Maritime Trades Department; and member of several international trade union groups. He hated intensely and successfully opposed the Communist Party, who were seeking to organize all maritime workers into a single union, the Maritime Workers Industrial Union. Governor Goodwin Knight of California praised him as a "courageous leader of organized labor." His frequent and often successful negotiations with shipowners won him the sailors' affectionate nickname of "The Lunchbox." Shipowners lauded him as a man "tough as nails" who "always kept his word." In 1934, before his rise to power, he played a key role in Seattle, all but sacrificing his life in the interests of the seamen, during the 1934 West Coast Longshoremen's Waterfront Strike. More than 8,000 other sailors joined the eighty-three day strike in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Everett that led to the unionization of all of the West Coast ports of the United States. By the end of 1934, he had been thrust into the top position of the Sailors' Union of the Pacific, a union he had first joined in 1923. He has been called a "one-man army," who in his time had been shot at and had his nose and jaw fractured in bloody waterfront disputes. He was known for his working clothes and white cotton cap, later known as the "Lundeberg Stetson." The cap continues to be worn by members who are a part of the Sailors' Union or support the Union. Early Life and Death: Born "Harald Olaf Torgerson Lundeberg," he immigrated to America becoming a naturalized citizen in 1933. His politically active mother, Alette Sophie Koffeld Lundeberg, surely a big influence in his life, was a leading figure and tireless fighter in Norway's Labor Movement, as well as in women's rights and children's issues. Not afraid to express her opinions, his mother was feared by her opponents. Harry's father, Karl Vedel Torgerson Lundeberg, a construction worker interested in union organization, further prepared Harry for union leadership. At the age of 56, Harry Lundeberg died suddenly of a major heart attack, which was preceded a week earlier by a mild one. On the day of his funeral, thousands of seamen aboard ships in American and Canadian ports quit work in tribute to the memory of their Maritime leader. Several months later, his wife, Ida Lundeberg of Hillsborough, christened a new ship, the "S.S. Harry Lundeberg." Built by the Kaiser Gypsum Company, it was the largest bulk ore carrier on the West Coast. Harry Lundeberg was a man who loved sailors, rose to positions of great power, yet stubbornly stuck to the Spartan way of life he had learned at age 14 when he went to sea as a deck boy aboard a three-masted sailing ship.

Bio by: GreenHills Stones Calling


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: GreenHills Stones Calling
  • Added: 14 Feb 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 125119465
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Harry Lundeberg (25 Mar 1900–28 Jan 1957), Find A Grave Memorial no. 125119465, citing Olivet Memorial Park, Colma, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .