Sharkey, Lawrence Louis

Sharkey, Lawrence Louis

 

Born Aug. 6, 1898, near Orange, New South Wales; died May 13,1967, in Sydney. Figure in the Australian and international working-class movement.

The son of a small farmer, Sharkey went to work at the age of 14 as an unskilled laborer. From his youth he took part in the trade union movement; he organized and led a number of strikes. Sharkey joined the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) in 1924 and became a member of the party’s Central Committee in 1928. In 1930 he was chosen a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee and was named party chairman, a position he held until 1948. From 1948 to 1965 he served as general secretary of the party, and from 1965 to 1967 he was vice-chairman of the Central Committee. During the 1930’s, Sharkey edited party newspapers. He took part in the work of the Seventh Congress of the Comintern (1935) and was elected a candidate member of the Executive Committee of the Comintern.

Sharkey was persecuted for his revolutionary activities. In 1949 he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for supporting the peaceful foreign policy of the USSR. A steadfast opponent of Liquidationism, right opportunism, dogmatism, sectarianism, and revisionism, Sharkey fought for the unity of the world communist movement.

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