Social Reformer. He led the United Farm Workers Union and gained acclaim for his leadership in fighting for Latino American civil rights in particular, and labor rights in general. Born on the small farm near Yuma, Ariz. that his grandfather homesteaded in the 1880s, from 1952 to 1962, together with Fred Ross, Cesar organized twenty-two chapters of the Community Service Organization (CSO), a Latino civil rights group, across California. Under Cesar Chavez's leadership, the CSO became the most militant and effective Latino civil rights group during its time, helping Latinos become citizens, registering to vote, demonstrated against police brutality and pressed for paved streets and other improvements in the barrio. His twenty-five day fast to rededicate his movement to nonviolence in March of 1968, brought in United States Senator and Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, who joined 8,000 farm workers and supporters at a mass where Cesar Chavez broke his fast. Senator Kennedy Chavez called "one of the heroic figures of our time. Jailed in December 1970, in Salinas, California for refusing to obey a court order to stop the boycott against Bud Antle lettuce, he was visited while incarcerated by Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert Kennedy. When he died in April 1993 in San Luis, Arizona while defending the UFW against a multi-million dollar lawsuit brought against the union by a large vegetable grower, 40,000 mourners marched behind Cesar Chavez's plain pine casket during funeral services in Delano. On August 8, 1994, President Bill Clinton posthumously presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, to Cesar Chavez. He was also posthumously with a 2003 United States Postage Stamp, the “Lewis and Clark”-class United States Navy dry cargo ship “USNS Cesar Chavez” (T-AKE-14), a state holiday in California, Colorado, and Texas (March 31, his birthday), and the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, dedicated in 2012 by President Barack Obama.
Bio by: Da Prophet
Helen Fabela Chavez