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The passing of Bill Blizzard

December 30, 2008
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UMWA mourns the passing of William C. “Bill” Blizzard, Jr.

United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“Bill Blizzard wrote the definitive story about the struggles of coal miners in southern West Virginia to win justice for themselves and their families through the UMWA.

“He wasn’t just a bystander, he was there. He experienced the rim realities of living in a coal camp, saw the brutality of the mine guards, heard the cries of wives and children put out of their company-owned houses when miners did nothing more than talk about freedom.

“I urge every person who believes in justice for working families to read Bill’s work. He understood that the fight for a better life for the working class did not end at Blair Mountain – it continues today.

"Bill’s words remind us that without strong unions working on behalf of their members, we will soon be back to where we were 92 years ago at the beginning of Bill’s life – living and working at the whim of giant corporations and their hirelings.

“Bill was a life-long supporter of the UMWA, and we will never forget his efforts and his eloquence on our behalf. To us, Bill Blizzard is fallen brother, and we will honor his life in our memories from this day forward.”

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