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Haywood, William D. (1869–1928)

WILLIAM D. “BIG BILL” Haywood was an atheist and a socialist. He was a physical presence with a thunderous voice, but more importantly, he was a radical labor leader who cared little for company bosses or the law.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Haywood lost his father, a rider for the Pony Express, when he was three. He lost his right eye in a whittling accident at age nine, and he always offered his left profile for photographs. At age nine, he began working in the mines. He attributed his radicalism to the 1886 Haymarket riots, trials, and executions. His interest in unionism grew after the Pullman strike of 1893. Working as a silver miner in Idaho in 1896, he heard a speech by Western ...

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