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Sidney Lens Edit Profile

labor leader , author

Sidney Lens , also known by his birth name Sid Okun, was an American labor leader, political activist, and author, best known for his book, The Day Before Doomsday, which warns of the prospect of nuclear annihilation, published in 1977 by Doubleday.


Lens, Sidney was born on January 28, 1912 in Newark.


Educational public schools, New York City.


He also wrote a history of U.S. intervention abroad, The Forging of the American Empire, originally published in 1974 and republished in 2003 by Haymarket Books with a new introduction by Howard Zinn. And an autobiography, Unrepentant Radical. In 1967, he was among more than 500 writers and editors who signed the "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" pledge, vowing to refuse to pay the 10% Vietnam War Tax surcharge proposed by president Johnson.

Lens was an editor of The Progressive. In 1980, Lens was the Citizens Party (United States) candidate for United States Senate in Illinois.



Candidate for Congress, 2d Illinois District, 1962, Illinois Legislature, 1964, United States Senate, Illinois, 1980. Board directors Chicago Council Foreign Relations. Co-chairman National Committee to End War in Vietnam, New Mobilization Committee to End War in Vietnam.

Chairman Justice, Action and Peace in Latin American, Impeach Nixon Committee, 1973., Institute Social Studies. Founder Mobilization for Survival. Co-chairman Coalition against Military Escalation.

Fellow Institute for Policy Studies (associate).


Married Shirley Ruben, 1946.

Shirley Ruben