Elizabeth Gurley Flynn


Biography of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (August 7, 1890 – September 5, 1964) was a labor leader, activist, and feminist who played a leading role in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Flynn was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union and a visible proponent of women's rights, birth control, and women's suffrage. She joined the American Communist Party in 1936 and late in life, in 1961, became its chairwoman. She died during a visit to the Soviet Union, where she was accorded a state funeral.

Gurley was born in Concord, New Hampshire, in 1890. The family moved to New York in 1900, and Flynn was educated at the local public schools. Her parents introduced her to socialism. When she was only sixteen she gave her first speech, "What Socialism Will Do for Women", at the Harlem Socialist Club. As a result of her political activities, Flynn was expelled from high school.

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