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Social Media Pays Tribute to Edward M. Smith

February 6, 2024

Upon Edward M. Smith’s recent passing, mourners expressed their sorrow and grief on social media. They shared condolences, testimonials, and memories of this renowned labor leader.

Illinois Politicians Remember Ed Smith

Born and raised in Illinois, Ed Smith had a major impact on the state as a union organizer and labor leader. He worked alongside his union brothers and sisters to affect policymaking in support of American workers. Illinois state politicians remembered him as a leader, visionary, and friend.

Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth offered tributes to Ed on Twitter and on the Senate floor:

Watch as Sens. Durbin and Duckworth give their remarks:

House Representative Nikki Budzinski also paid tribute to Ed Smith:

State government leaders, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Speaker of the House of Representatives Emanuel “Chris” Welch, Treasurer Michael Frerich, and Comptroller Susan Mendoza, also took to social media to express their condolences and memories of Ed Smith:

Unions, labor organizations, and their leaders remembered Smith on social media, expressing grief at losing one of their own.

Ed Smith joined Laborers’ Local 773 when he was 13 years old. Over the course of his career, he moved up through the ranks within LiUNA. He earned a seat on the LiUNA Executive Board and an appointment to the Illinois State Board of Investments—eventually becoming its Chairman.

Ed was a respected advocate for worker’s rights. Unions and their leaders recognized his impact as they shared their sympathies on social media:

Liz Shuler, President of the AFL–CIO:

Bob Reiter, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor:

North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU):

The Boilermakers Union:

The Iron Workers Union:

Friends and organizations that Ed worked with closely also paid homage to his legacy as a tireless supporter of workers’ rights.