Samuel Gompers (1850-1924) was the first president of the American Federation of Labor, the first enduring national labor union. He served as president from 1886 until his death in 1924, except for a single year, 1895. Born in London, he immigrated to the United States at the age of 13, and worked as a cigar-maker. He became the leader of the cigar-makers’ union, and transformed it into one of the country’s strongest unions.
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