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W. A. Boyle

AKA William Anthony Boyle

Born: 1-Dec-1904
Birthplace: Bald Butte, MT
Died: 31-May-1985
Location of death: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Labor Leader

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: UMW President, 1963-72

Born to a coal miner, W. A. Boyle eventually became President of UMW District 27, which includes Montana, a position he held from 1940 to 1948. That year, President John L. Lewis appointed him as his administrative assistant, and chief troubleshooter. In 1960, Thomas Kennedy became UMW President and Boyle Vice President, but Kennedy was in poor health and served only until 1962, when Boyle became acting president. After Kennedy's death, Boyle was elected President, where he continued the autocratic ways of his mentor, Lewis, though entirely lacking Lewis's personal popularity. No serious challenge to his rule occurred until 1969, when former District 5 President Joseph Yablonski ran against him for the Presidency of the union. Boyle rigged the election, and Yablonski conceded the election but filed a grievance with the Department of US Labor. Three weeks later, Boyle used $20,000 embezzled from the union to have Yablonski, his wife, and his daughter murdered. Only at this point did the Department of Labor, under George Shultz, begin to treat Yablonski's complaint seriously. In 1972 a US Federal District Judge voided the 1969 election for numerous irregularities, and Arnold Miller defeated Boyle by a good margin. Boyle was indicted for Yablonski's murder in 1973, convicted in 1974, the conviction overturned and then re-tried after appeal in 1977-78. He lost this also, spending the rest of his life in prison.

Father: James P. Boyle (miner, d. tuberculosis)
Mother: Catherine Mallin
Brother: James
Brother: Richard
Wife: Ethel Williams (m. 3-Jun-1928, one daughter)
Daughter: Antoinette

    United Mine Workers of America President (1963-72)
    United Mine Workers of America Acting President (1962-63)
    United Mine Workers of America VP (1960-62)
    United Mine Workers of America Asst. to President John L. Lewis (1948-60)
    United Mine Workers of America President, District 27 (1940-48)
    Murder 1973 (convicted)
    Polygraphed Mar-1974
    Stroke 1983
    Scottish Ancestry Paternal

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Harlan County, U.S.A. (18-Oct-1976) · Himself


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