photo of Tom Kahn, East River CORE


Dublin Core


photo of Tom Kahn, East River CORE


This is a photo of Tom Kahn, one this country's leading civil rights organizers and labor leaders. He was also considered the ghost writer par excellence of the movement responsible for Bayard Rustin's classic treatise, 'From Protest to Politics' and A.Phillip Randolph's speech at the March on Washington*. He also had a hand in the re-writing of John Lewis' speech at the March on Washington.

An orphan, he was adopted and raised in Brooklyn
attending both Erasmus High School and Brooklyn College. He transferred as an under graduate to Howard University making him one of the every few White students to attend the historically Black college. There he was a member of the Non-Violent Action Committee along with Stokely Carmichael.

He was Rustin's chief assistant for the March on Washington (and Rustin's long time boyfriend). He was also a founding member of east River CORE.

He eventually became a labor leader as the executive director of the League of Industrial Democrats where he worked closely with Michael Harrington, author of 'The Other America: Poverty in the United States.' Kahn also worked closely with Harrington as a member of the Social Democrats, USA.

Kahn became the International Affairs Director of the AFL-CIO before he died at age 53 of AIDS.

*Horowitz, Rachelle. Tom Kahn and the Fight for Democracy: A Political Portrait and Personal Recollection


“photo of Tom Kahn, East River CORE,”, accessed December 10, 2023,

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