Asa Philip Randolph, labor leader, was born in 1889 in Florida.
After high school, he went to New York City and studied at City
College. He was active in the Socialist party, and in 1925 he
organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. From that
position of power he was influential in the formation of the Fair
Employment Practices Committee. He opposed discrimination also in
the armed forces, and in 1955 he became a member of the AFL-CIO
executive council. Two years later he was a vice president and in
regular opposition to George Meany, the union leader who was
lukewarm on civil rights in the unions.
He was an organizer of the August 1963 march on Washington,
sharing leadership responsibilities with Roy Wilkins, Whitney
Young, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and James Farmer.
In later years his socialism became more moderate and he became
active in the Urban League and the Liberal party. To carry out his
commitment to his causes, he founded the A. Philip Randolph
Institute, symbolizing the power of the black worker. He died in
1979, recognized for his many solid contributions to the civil