Jacob Potofsky Photographs

Collection Number: 5999 P

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


Jacob Potofsky Photographs,
Collection Number:
5999 P
Potofsky, Jacob
1.3 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Collection material in English


Jacob Potofsky (1892-1979)
Born on November 23, 1892 (some source cite his birthdate as November 23, 1894) in Ukraine, Jacob Potofsky immigrated to Chicago in 1905. He became a floor boy in a men's clothing factory in 1908 and participated in the 1910 Hart, Schaffner and Marx strike. After the strike Potofsky became a shop secretary, served as Treasurer of Local 144 and joined the ACWA at its inception in 1914. He served as Secretary-Treasurer of the ACWA Chicago Joint Board 1914-1916 then moved to New York City to assist in establishing a national office. Potofsky served as Secretary Treasurer of the ACWA 1916-1934. He became ACWA Assistant President in 1934 and held this office until 1940, when he became General Secretary Treasurer 1940-1946. He was an original member of the Congress of Industrial Organizations' (CIO) Executive Board. Starting in 1940 he served as Chairman of the CIO Committee on Latin-American Affairs, which was later absorbed into the Committee on International Affairs. A close colleague of Sidney Hillman, Potofsky became President of the ACWA after Hillman's death in 1946 and held the post until 1972. He raised funds for organizations dedicated to the war effort such as the Red Cross, and the New York National War Fund. After the merger of the AFL and the CIO he served at vice-president and executive council member of the AFL-CIO. He was also a member of a large number of boards for public and private agencies and served as President of the Amalgamated Insurance Co., Chairman of the Amalgamated Insurance Fund, Chairman of Boards and President of Amalgamated Savings Bank of NY, and Director Amalgamated Trust & Savings Bank, Chicago.
Mr. Potofsky died on August 5, 1979, in New York City.


This is a collection of photographs highlighting events in Jacob Potofsky's life from the 1940's thru the 1970's.

Potofsky, Jacob S. (Jacob Samuel), 1894-1979

Form and Genre Terms:


Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
Jacob Potofsky Photographs #5999 P. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.


Related Collections:
5619: ACWA Records
5619/010: ACWA Jacob Potofsky files
6286 MB: Delia Gottlieb Collection of Jacob Potofsky Memorabilia
6022 OH: Delia Gottlieb Interview "My Father, Jacob Potofsky"
6000/042 MB: UNITE ACWA Jacob Potofsky Memorabilia


Box 1 Folder 1 1940-1949
Includes photo of Potofsky with Sec. of State George Marshall, Walter Reuther, Van A. Bittner; photo of Sidney Hillman holding gavel with Potofsky in background -- 2 black & white photographs
Box 1 Folder 2 1950-1959
Includes photo of Potofsky with Justice William O. Douglas, Walter Reuther; photo of International Development Advisory Board, including Potofsky and Nelson Rockefeller; photo of Potofsky sitting on couch with George Meany, David Dubinsky, and Walter Reuther; photo of Potofsky at the dedication ceremonies of the Sidney Hillman Medical Center of the Male Apparel Industry of Philadelphia, May 4-5, 1951; photo of ACWA General Executive Board, including Potofsky; signed photograph of President Harry S. Truman, dedicated to Potofsky, 4/9/52(not original copy); photo of Mayor's Reception Committee luncheon, New York, NY 5/9/51, includes Potofsky, David Ben-Gurion, Lt. Gen. Willis D. Crittenberger, and NYC Mayor Vincent R. Impellitteri; photo of Mayor's Reception Committee luncheon at Waldorf Astoria Hotel, includes Potofsky, Ben-Gurion, and Impellitteri; photo of Potofsky sitting in a row of four other men, including Bishop Francis Haas and Justice William O. Douglas, to whom Potofsky is speaking. -- 9 black & white photographs
Box 1 Folder 3 1960-1969
Includes photo of Potofsky receiving honorary degree, university unknown, standing with two other men in graduation robes; signed photograph of Potofsky and President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office, dedicated to Potofsky from JFK (not original copy); photo of Potofsky sitting with President Lyndon Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson, signed by Johnson and dedicated to Potofsky (not original copy); photo of Potofsky walking on Boardwalk in Atlantic City with UN Secretary General U Thant at 25th Biennial ACWA Convention, 5/24/66; photo of Potofsky receiving honorary degree from Roosevelt College, 2/6/67, with school president; photo of Potofsky pinning ribbon on Roy Wilkins at 25th Biennial Convention, 5/26/66; photo of Potofsky shaking hands with Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, signed by Humphrey and dedicated to Potofsky (not original copy); photo of Potofsky, other labor leaders, on dais with JFK at the 5th AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention, 11/15/63 (exactly one week before Kennedy's assassination); photo of Potofsky shaking hands with LBJ at a State Dinner for Israeli President Zalman Shazar, The White House, 8/2/66; Potofsky with Justice Arthur Goldberg, presenting/receiving??? National Labor Security Award; Potofsky with 11 men, one woman, holding an award at a black-tie event; Potofsky standing at podium, talking to Abe Stark, NYC Mayor Lindsay, NYS Gov. Rockefeller, June 1967; photo of Potofsky receiving honorary degree from Brandeis University, with Coretta Scott King, 6/8/69; framed photograph of the Urban Coalition, 100 participants from the entire country, including Potofsky, 12/12/69; photo of Potofsky at 20th Biennial ACWA Convention in Washington, DC, standing with 10 other people, including US Senator Herbert H. Lehman (D-NY) and his wife, 1961. -- 14 black & white photographs
Box 1 Folder 4 1970-1973
Photo of Potofsky talking to two women; photo of Potofsky with Israeli Ambassador to the UN Jacob Barmore, Rabbi Sally Priesand, 3/20/73; Potofsky receiving an award at 75th birthday celebration for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, at the New York Hilton, 4/16/70. -- 3 black & white photographs
Box 1 Folder 5
2 photographs
Box 1 Folder 6 1969
Stevie Wonder, Henry Fonda, Peggy Cass, Johnny Carson, Arlene Francis, Greg Morris, Merv Griffin, David Susskind, Jack Klugman, Leonard Nemoy, and many more singing in a group -- 1 photograph
Box 1 Folder 7
2 photographs
Box 1 Folder 8
news clippings ; magazine with Jacob Potofsky on the cover ; 28 photographs
Box 1 Folder 9
[found in the bottom of the box a 'label' - Golden Slipper Square Club Award]
Box 1 Folder 10
23 photographs, postcard, business cards
Box 1 Folder 11
(5999 P additional) -- 4 photographs
Box 2 Folder 1
1 photograph