The Autobiography of Mother Jones Mother Jones Author
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The Autobiography of Mother Jones by Mother Jones, 1925. Labor organizer Mother Jones worked tirelessly for economic justice. Mary Harris Mother Jones (1837–1930) was an Irish-American schoolteacher and dressmaker who became a prominent labor and community organizer. She then helped coordinate major strikes and cofounded the Industrial Workers of the World. While her opponents called her the “most dangerous woman in America,” fellow organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn called Jones “the greatest woman agitator of our times.” Jones combined dynamic speaking skills and radical organizing methods to mobilize thousands of laborers and working-class families. She said of herself, “I’m not a humanitarian, I’m a hell-raiser.” Mary Harris Jones was born approximately August 1, 1837 in Cork, Ireland to Helen Cotter and Richard Harris. She had two brothers and two sisters. Jones later claimed a birthdate of May 1, 1830. Biographers suggest that she chose 1830 to add to the image of white-haired “Mother” Jones, and May first to connect herself to the Haymarket demonstration for the eight-hour day. Mary’s father moved to the United States in the 1840s, and the rest of the family followed soon thereafter.

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