Hall, Gus

Hall, Gus (b. Arvo Kusta Halberg)

(1910–  ) Communist Party leader; born in Iron, Minn. His parents were Finnish immigrants and charter members of the Communist Party, U.S.A. He worked as a lumberjack and steelworker, then went to Russia and studied at the Lenin Institute (1931–33). He joined the Communist Party, U.S.A. (1934). He served in the U.S. Navy (1942–46). He went to federal prison (1951–57) for conspiring to teach and advocate the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. He was national secretary (1950–59) and general secretary (1959) of the Communist Party, U.S.A. He was the Communist Party candidate for president of the United States (1972, 1976) and wrote numerous pamphlets and books, including For a Radical Change: The Communist View (1966) and Fighting Racism (1985).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hall, Gus


(real name, Arvo Kusta Halberg). Born Oct. 8, 1910, near Virginia, Minn. Figure in the American and international working-class movement.

The son of a miner, Hall went to work at the age of 14; he was at various times a lumberjack, miner, railroad worker, and steel-worker. He joined the Young Communist League in 1926 and the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) in 1927. From 1929 to 1932 he traveled in several European countries, including the USSR. Between 1927 and 1937, Hall helped organize a strike movement in Minnesota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania; he also organized antimilitarist protests and a movement of the unemployed. He was arrested several times. Hall took part in the movement that led to the creation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

From 1938 to 1941, Hall was a party organizer in Youngstown, Ohio; in 1941 and 1942 and in 1946 and 1947 he was secretary of the party organization of Cleveland. He served in the navy from 1942 to 1946. Hall became a member of the National Committee of the CPUSA in 1944 and a member of the committee’s National Executive Bureau in 1947. From 1947 to 1949 he was chairman of the party organization of Ohio. In 1949 he was elected a secretary of the National Committee of the CPUSA, and in 1950 and 1951 he served as the committee’s acting general secretary.

In 1948, Hall and other leaders of the CPUSA were put on trial, and in 1949 he was convicted under the Smith Act. He was in prison from 1951 to 1957, and after his release he remained under police surveillance until 1959; the legal restrictions on him ended in 1966. In April 1959, Hall was elected secretary of the Executive Committee of the National Committee of the CPUSA and regional secretary of the committee for the Midwest. He was elected general secretary of the CPUSA in December 1959. He was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1977 and the Order of Friendship of Peoples in 1975.

Hall has written several works that analyze American imperialism, the strategy and tactics of the CPUSA, and the international communist and working-class movements from a Marxist-Leninist standpoint. His works also analyze ways and means to resist the political and economic encroachment of monopolies, combat racial and social inequality, and promote peace and socialism.


In Russian translation:
Revoliutsionnoe rabochee dvizhenie i sovremennyi imperializm. Moscow, 1974.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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