Chávez, César

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  • César Chávez (1927–93) was a Mexican American leader of the United Farm Workers union. A staunch Catholic, Chávez first gained national attention in 1968 when he conducted a twenty-five-day fast and outdoor mass, which was attended by more than 4,000 farmworkers and Senator Robert Kennedy, D-N.Y. Due in part to internal struggles, however, the United Farm Workers’ membership and influence declined considerably after the 1970s. Today, Chávez is most remembered for his successful boycott of grapes and wine in California, making him the leader of the first successful farmworkers’ union in America.

    Chávez was born on March 31, 1927, near Yuma, Arizona. His grandparents were immigrants from Mexico, and his parents ran a small farm. Chávez grew up in very poor conditions. The Chávez family lived ...

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