Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
McBride was born in Wayne County, Ohio, in 1854. He started working in the coal mines at the age of nine. In 1870, McBride joined the Ohio Miners' Union, and in 1883 he became its president—a post he retained until 1889. After serving briefly in the Ohio legislature, McBride helped found the Ohio People’s Party in 1891. In 1892, McBride was elected president of the United Mine Workers.
McBride's prominence continued to rise with the growth of the Populist Movement in the American Midwest, and in 1894, McBride unseated labor icon Samuel Gompers as president of the American Federation of Labor. Not long after assuming the office, however, McBride became embroiled in conflicts with other union leaders and his popularity declined. Gompers regained the presidency the following year.
Taft, Philip. The A.F. of L. in the Time of Gompers. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1957.
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