Richard Trumka was born in tiny Nemacolin, Greene County, in 1949. It was a company town, founded for the workers of steel manufacturer 32 years earlier.
The boy who was raised by a community of laborers and and miners would grow up to lead a mining strike in 1989. Twenty years after that, he’d help the country’s first Black president shepherd through landmark healthcare legislation as the leader of the AFL-CIO.
When Trumka died unexpectedly Thursday, elected leaders from around the state spoke out about his work in the labor movement.
President Biden, who also grew up in the coal country of Pennsylvania, remembered Trumka as a friend.