This Day in Black History: April 15, 1889

Civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph was born.

Posted: 04/15/2013 08:00 AM EDT
A. Philip Randolph

A. Philip Randolph, a major force leading the 1963 March on Washington, was born on April 15, 1889, in Crescent City, Florida. 

Randolph moved to Harlem to become an actor after graduating from Cookman Institute. He held several jobs and later co-founded the Brotherhood of Labor to organize against impoverished conditions for waiters on a steamship where he worked. 

In 1925, Randolph founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and served as its president. He also pushed the federal government to address racial discrimination in the war industry workforce and the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Perhaps his most noted accomplishment was speaking at the March on Washington alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Randolph would later receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Lyndon B. Johnson for his dedication to labor and civil rights.

Randolph died on May 16, 1979, at age 90 in New York City.

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(Photo: APIC/Getty Images)

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