The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers

Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. (1911-1999)

A Cincinnati-born labor activist, Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. emerged in the late 1940s as one of the most important liberals of the postwar era. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Rauh had been active in Democratic politics since the New Deal, working first for Supreme Court Justices Benjamin Cardozo and Felix Frankfurter, and then later for the Lend-Lease Administration and the Wage and Price Administration, among others. Rauh heightened his reputation when he helped Eleanor Roosevelt found Americans for Democratic Action in 1947. He authored the Democratic Party's controversial 1948 civil rights plank. As a passionate devotee to the civil rights cause, Rauh represented black labor leader A. Philip Randolph in a 1951 suit to force the integration of an all-white railroad organization. The case underscored Rauh's deepening involvement in the organized labor movement, in which he became increasingly active through the 1950s as chief legal counsel to the United Auto Workers. For the next two decades, Rauh worked to strengthen organized labor through his support of reform candidates while remaining committed to civil rights as counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Rauh died in 1992 at the age of 81.

Source: Barry M. Horstman, "Joseph Rauh Jr.: Activist battled for rights," The Cincinnati Post Internet on-line. Available From

Published by the Model Editions Partnership

Recommended citation: Eleanor Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and the Election of 1960: A Project of The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, ed. by Allida Black, June Hopkins, John Sears, Christopher Alhambra, Mary Jo Binker, Christopher Brick, John S. Emrich, Eugenia Gusev, Kristen E. Gwinn, and Bryan D. Peery (Columbia, S.C.: Model Editions Partnership, 2003). Electronic version based on unpublished letters. .

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