O'Sullivan, Mary Kenney

O'Sullivan, Mary Kenney

(1864–1943) labor leader, social reformer; born in Hannibal, Mo. A laborer from an early age, she organized women binders in Chicago, lobbied successfully for the first protective factory law in Illinois, and was the first woman to serve as an organizer for the American Federation of Labor (1892–93). She also organized factory workers in Boston, was involved in the settlement house movement in Massachusetts and, as a founder of the National Women's Trade Union League (1903), promoted unionization and job safety legislation for women.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.