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James Leonard Farmer Edit Profile

trade union official , Civil rights leader

James Farmer, American civil rights leader, former trade union official. Recipient American Veterans Committee award, 1962, John Dewey award League Industrial Democracy, 1962, Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement Alumni award Howard University, 1964, Omega Psi Phi award, 1961, 63.


FARMER, James was born on January 12, 1920 in Marshall, Texas, United States. Son of late James Leonard Farmer, PH.D. and late Pearl Marion Houston Farmer.


Bachelor of Science, Wiley College, Marshall, 1938. Bachelor's Degree, Howard University, 1941. Also 22 honorary doctoral degrees.


Founder Congress of Racial Equality (Congress of Racial Equality), 1942, national chairman, 1942-1944, 50, national director, 1961-1966. Race relations secretary Fellowship of Reconciliation, 1941-1945. Organizer Upholsterer's International Union North America, 1945-1947.

Lecturer race and labor problems, 1948-1950. Student field secretary League Industrial Democracy, 1950-1954. International representative State, County and Municipal Employees Union, 1954-1959.

Program director National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1959-1961. Leader Congress of Racial Equality Freedom Ride, 1961. President Center for Community Action Education, from 1965.

Assistant secretary for administration Department of Health, 1969-1970. President Council on Minority Planning and Strategy, 1973-1976. Executive director Coalition of America Public Employees, 1977-1982.

Professor american studies, history Mary Washington College. Adjunct professor New York University, 1968. Professor social welfare Lincoln (Pennsylvania) University, 1966-1967.

Chairman board Fund for Open Society, 1974-1995. Visiting professor Antioch University, 1983-1984. Distinguished visiting professor Mary Washington College, 1985-1994, distinguished college professor, since 1994.

National executive board American Committee on Africa, 1959-1964. Chairman Council United Civil Rights Leadership, from 1963. Sponsor American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa, from 1962.



Vice chairman Liberal Party New York County, 1954-1961. Board directors League Industrial Democracy, Friends of Earth, National Citizens Committee Broadcasting, Black World Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union, Americans Democratic Action.


  • Other Interests

    Detective stories, fishing.


Married Lula A. Peterson, May 21, 1949 (deceased May 1977). Children: Tami, Abbey.

James Leonard Farmer

Pearl Marion (Houston) Farmer

Lula A. Peterson

Tami Farmer

Abbey Farmer