GUS HALL WAS BORN Arvo Kusta Halberg in Virginia, Minnesota, one of 10 children of Finnish immigrants. His father was a union activist and a founding member of the American Communist Party (CPUSA). Hall joined the Young Communist League at age 17 and, like many communists thought to have leadership potential, spent two years at the Lenin Institute in Moscow, Soviet Union. In 1934, he moved to Mahoning Valley, Ohio, where he worked as a union organizer for the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC). The same year, he met his future wife, Elizabeth, and, in fear of being blacklisted by employers, shortened his name to Gus Hall. Hall proved to be an effective grass-roots organizer, leading the 1937 Little Steel strike in Youngstown, Ohio, and ...

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