Romualdi, Serafino

Hide Profile

Serafino Romualdi was born in Bastia Umbra (Perugia), Italy on November 18, 1900. He graduated from Teachers' College (Perugia) in 1917 and began teaching grade school. He was a civilian member of the Italian Government's Commission for the Requisition of Cereals in 1919 and 1920, returning to teaching in 1921. Romualdi was editor of a weekly labor paper in Pesaro, Italy called "Il Progresso" during 1922, but was compelled, because of his opposition to Fascism, to leave for the United States in 1923. He first settled in Chicago, where he became editor of another weekly paper "La Parola del Popolo" . In addition, Romualdi joined the Typographers Union as a linotype operator. In 1926, he was employed by the Italian Labor Publishing Company in Chicago.

In 1928, Romualdi moved to New York, where he became editorial writer for the Italian Language Daily trade union Newspaper "Il Mundo", jointly owned by the Italian locals of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. In 1933, be joined the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union as a member of the Editorial and Publicity Departments.

In July 1941, Romualdi went to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, where as a representative of the Free Italy Committee he directed a campaign to enlist the Italian population in those countries to the side of the Allies. After Pearl Harbor, he joined the staff of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, Nelson Rockefeller. Romualdi founded the Italian-American Committee for Democratic Education with headquarters in Montevideo, Uruguay. He also worked closely with the Committee for the Political Defense of the Continent, whose main objective was to counteract the activities of the Nazi and Fascist agents.

In 1943, Romualdi returned to Washington where where he worked in the labor division of the Coordinator's office, then headed by John Herling. He joined the Office of Strategic Services in May 1944, where he remained until April 1945, when he was assigned to make a survey of the effects of United States policy in Europe on the large European population in South America.

Romualdi resumed his work with the ILGWU in the fall of 1945, and was assigned by the American Federation of Labor to establish contacts with Latin American Labor with the view of promoting closer cooperation between the democratic trade unions of the two continents. In this capacity, he toured Central and South America several times; was a member of the AFL labor delegation that visited Argentina in January 1947 and was one of the AFL delegates to the conference at Lima, Peru (in January 1948) at which the Inter-American Confederation of Workers was organized. Later, in 1951, he played a leading role in the organizing the Inter-American Regional Organization of Workers (ORIT), of which he became Assistant Secretary and editor of its Inter-American Labor Bulletin.

In March 1948, Romualdi was appointed full time Latin American representative of the AFL. He was a member of the Joint AFL-CIO Commission that investigated labor conditions in the Central Zone in January 1949, and was a member of the US delegation to the conventions of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) held in Milan, in 1951; Vienna in (1955) and Tunis in 1957.

Romualdi attended ILO conferences either as a US labor delegate or Labor advisor: in Mexico City and Montreal in 1946; San Francisco in 1948; Montevideo in 1960 and Buenos Aires in 1961. In August 1957 he attended the Inter-American Economic Conference held in Buenos Aires as a labor advisor to the US delegation. He attended, also as an advisor, the Punta del Este Conference in August 1961, at which the Alliance for Progress was launched. Romualdi also attended various presidential inaugurations of Latin American countries, either as a representative or a personal guest.

After the 1955 merger of the AFL and the CIO, Romualdi was named Inter-American Representative of the new organization and Executive Secretary of the AFL-CIO Inter-American Affairs Committee. Shortly after the establishment of the American Institute for Free Labor Development in 1961, in which he played a leading role, Romualdi became its Executive Director. The institute, a non-profit organization supported by labor, business and government, trained selected young leaders from Latin American and Caribbean nations in trade union fundamentals, the democratic process, defense tactics against infiltration by totalitarians or racketeers and the role of unions in the community.

In September 1965, be retired from his posts with the AFL-CIO and the AIFLD to undertake consulting work and to complete his memoirs, entitled Presidents and Peons, which were published in 1967 by Funk and Wagnalls. Mr. Romualdi was married to the former Miriam Blecher Friedman. Each had a son by a previous marriage. Serafino Romualdi died in November 1967.

From the guide to the Serafino Romualdi papers, 1936-1967 [bulk 1946-1966]., (Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Boris Souvarine papers, 1915-1984 (inclusive), 1940-1984 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Ruth Fischer papers, 1925-1961 (inclusive) 1940-1961 (bulk) Houghton Library
referencedIn Alberto Cupelli Papers, 1933-1973 University of Minnesota Libraries. Immigration History Research Center [ihrc]
creatorOf Serafino Romualdi papers, 1936-1967 [bulk 1946-1966]. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn Grant, Frances R. Frances Grant collection, 1897-1986 (bulk 1917-1986). Rutgers University
referencedIn Cupelli, Alberto, b. 1905. Papers, 1933-1973. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Acuña, Juan Antonio. person
associatedWith AFL-CIO. corporateBody
associatedWith Alexander, Robert Jackson, 1918- person
associatedWith American Federation of Labor. International Labor Relations Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith American Institute for Free Labor Development. corporateBody
associatedWith Anaconda Copper Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Antonini, Luigi, 1883-1968 person
associatedWith Batista y Zaldívar, Fulgencio, 1901-1973 person
associatedWith Betancourt, Romulo, 1908- person
associatedWith Borlaff, Otero. person
associatedWith Brinkerhoff, Charles. person
associatedWith Capello, Giovanni Battista. person
associatedWith Ciccotti, Sigfrido. person
associatedWith Colotuzzo, Alberto. person
associatedWith Confederación Interamericana de Trabajadores. corporateBody
associatedWith Confederación Latinoamericana de Sindicalistas Cristianos. corporateBody
associatedWith Confederation of Rerum Novarum. corporateBody
associatedWith Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori. corporateBody
associatedWith Cuban Confederation of Labor. corporateBody
associatedWith Cupelli, Alberto, b. 1905. person
associatedWith Dubinsky, David, 1892-1960 person
associatedWith Figueres Ferrer, Jose, 1906- person
correspondedWith Fischer, Ruth, 1895- person
associatedWith Genit, José. person
associatedWith Gentilli, Vittorio. person
associatedWith Goulart, Jõao. person
correspondedWith Grant, Frances R. person
associatedWith Green, William, 1872-1952 person
associatedWith Haya de la Torre, Victor Raúl, 1895- person
associatedWith Horne, Hermes. person
associatedWith Ibanez, Bernardo. person
associatedWith Inter-American Association for Democracy and Freedom. corporateBody
associatedWith International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. corporateBody
associatedWith International Labour Office. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. corporateBody
associatedWith Italia Libre (Buenos Aires). corporateBody
associatedWith Italian American Labor Council of New York City. corporateBody
associatedWith Jáuregui, Arturo. person
associatedWith Levitas, Sol M. person
associatedWith Lipsett, Alexander S. person
associatedWith Lovestone, Jay. person
associatedWith Lupis, Giuseppe. person
associatedWith Malve, Augusto. person
associatedWith McLellan, A. C. person
associatedWith Meany, George, 1894- person
associatedWith Migone, Rául. person
associatedWith Monge, Luis. person
associatedWith Mujal, Eusebio. person
associatedWith Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913- person
associatedWith Núñez, Benjamin, 1912- person
associatedWith Oldenbroek, J. H. person
associatedWith ORIT (Organization). corporateBody
associatedWith Pastore, Giulio, 1902-1969 person
associatedWith Perón, Juan Domingo, 1895-1974 person
associatedWith Reuther, Walter, 1907-1970 person
associatedWith Rimini, Riccardo. person
associatedWith Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979 person
associatedWith Sforza, Carlo. person
correspondedWith Souvarine, Boris. person
associatedWith Stephansky, Benjamin. person
associatedWith Sternback, David. person
associatedWith Tarchiani, Alberto. person
associatedWith True Temper Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith United Fruit Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Woll, Matthew, 1880-1956 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Costa Rica
International labor activities
Working class--Jamaica
Working class--Haiti
Italians--Uruguay--Political activity
Italians--Argentina--Political activity
Labor unions and communism--Latin America
Labor unions--Latin America
Land reform--Latin America
Working class--Honduras
Working class--Nicaragua
Working class--Belize
Working class--Puerto Rico
Working class--Dominican Republic
Labor unions and communism--Italy
Working class--Trinidad and Tobago
Working class--Peru
Italians--Cuba--Political activity
Italians--Latin America--Political activity
Working class--Ecuador
Working class--Uruguay
Working class--Bahamas
Working class--Colombia
Working class--Latin America
Working class--Mexico
Working class--Guyana
Working class--El Salvador




Ark ID: w64b5kdt

SNAC ID: 9587800