In Memoriam: Thomas R. Donahue

It is with great sadness that the Albert Shanker Institute acknowledges the passing of former longtime Shanker Institute board member, Thomas R. Donahue, 94. Donahue was President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO and spent his life as a champion of organized labor and democracy at home and abroad.

Upon hearing the news, American Federation of Teachers and Albert Shanker Institute President Randi Weingarten shared, “Thomas Donahue understood and fought for decades the waves of unrestrained corporate power that undermined workers and their unions. His voice is missed. Condolences to his wife, Rachelle, and his family” on Twitter.

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond said in a statement, “Tom was an innovator, intellectual and a visionary labor leader who was ahead of his time. Long before the future of work and the impact of technology on workers became a robust policy debate, Donahue was creating a blueprint for unions that encouraged experimentation with new approaches and technology to expand worker organizing and increase the labor movement’s influence…Donahue’s influence extended well beyond our nation’s borders. He served as chairman of an advisory group on labor and diplomacy with secretaries of state Madeline Albright and Colin Powell, powerfully advancing the cause of democracy and ensuring the link between anti-democratic movements and worker oppression was clear to leaders here and abroad.”

To read more about Tom Donahue’s extraordinary life and contributions to the labor movement and democracy, we encourage you to look at the following:

Thomas Donahue, powerful labor envoy in Washington, dies at 94, Washington Post

Thomas Donahue, Influential Leader of Organized Labor, Dies at 94, New York Times

Thomas Donahue, ‘legendary’ labor leader, democracy advocate, dies at 94, Democracy Digest

Thomas Reilly Donahue,

Thomas Donahue,