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GOMPERS, SAMUEL (1850-1924).

American labor leader. Founder and first president of the American Federation of Labor in 1886. He served as its president until his death. Gompers refused to participate in any socialistic and political projects, insisting that better wages, shorter hours, and other benefits were the proper aim of trade unions. He came to be recognized as a great public figure, and during World War I served as the head of the War Committee on Labor. Gompers persuaded the A.F.L. to support Zionism.

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