Labor organizer and union leader. Mariano S. Bishop (his last name was originally Bispo) was born on the island of São Miguel in the Azores and grew up in the Portuguese community of Fall River, Massachusetts. As a young man he was a star with Ponta Delgada S.C., a championship caliber amateur soccer club whose players came from the Fall River Portuguese. In 1934 he organized the textile workers of Fall River, one of the most important cotton goods producing cities in the world, part of a nationwide strike still the largest in American history. This led in 1939 to the foundation of the Textile Workers' Union of America, of which Bishop was Principal Organizer. He became a director of the TWUA in 1943 and then international executive vice president in 1952. He died suddenly at 46 of a heart attack. His funeral in Fall River was thought at the time the largest in city history. He was claimed as "The Most Important American of Portuguese Descent" and remains a figure on listings of Portuguese-American heritage. Mariano S. Bishop Boulevard in Fall River is named for him.
Mariano S. Bishop
November 14, 1906 + January 2, 1953
Executive Vice President
Textile Workers Union of America C.I.O.
His unusual talents,
Inspired qualities of leadership
And strength of character
Brought him exceptional honors
And national recognition,
Yet he ever remained a devoted,
Loyal servant and associate
Of America's textile workers.
Mary S. Bishop
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