Mills, Saul, 1910-1988.

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Saul Mills was born to Isidore and Celia Schneidmill in Manhattan, New York, on May 10, 1910.

Between 1927 and 1936 Mills worked in varying capacities on a wide range of newspapers which included The Long Island Press, The New York Daily News, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, The Brooklyn Standard Union, The Monmouth County Record (New Jersey) and The City News Association. Mills experiences while employed at the Press and at the Eagle provided the impetus toward full-time union work. Mills' association with the noted newspaper columnist Heywood Broun further shaped his burgeoning interest in the labor movement. When in December 1934 Broun called for the establishment of the Newspaper Guild, Mills, then a reporter on the Eagle, became one of its charter members. Mills' subsequent union activity led to his dismissal at the Eagle. It was at this time that Mills came into contact with left-wing and Communist activists within the labor movement.

1936 was a pivital year for Mills. He left the newspaper business, married the artist Agnes Karlin, and began his association with the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Between 1936 and 1940 Mills worked --often without pay-- as a public relations representative for many burgeoning trade unions, both CIO and AFL affiliated. When, in 1940, the National CIO established the Greater NY CIO Council, Mills, at the request of John L. Lewis and Allan Haywood, assumed the position of Secretary-Treasurer, a post he was to keep for the duration of the Council's existence.

In the early 1940s, Mills contributed to the creation of what later became the Insurance Plan of Greater New York (HIP). In 1946, he served as vice-president and chairman of HIP's administrative committee, and later became a member of the HIP Board of Incorporators. From 1943 to 1948, Mills served on the Board of Directors of Associated Hospital Service (New York Blue Cross).

With the dissolution of the CIO Council in 1948, Mills entered private business. Between 1948 and 1950, he was an associate member and account executive with Goldby, Byrne, and Associates, Inc., a business involved in fund raising and public relations for health and educational institutions. Mills also had his own public relations firm, Mills Agency, which specialized in direct-marketing for mail-order and insurance companies. In 1949, as a representative of the Seacoast Export Corporation, Mills embarked on a six-month trip to China. After his return home, Mills entered into a business arrangement with the American-Chinese Export Corporation (owned by Frederick Vanderbilt Field).

In 1956 Mills was subpoenaed to appear before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Internal Security Committee. Mills was questioned regarding his activities while an executive member of the Greater NY CIO Council; his association with Chinese Communists (U.N. delegates) in 1945; his 1949 trip to China; and his business affiliations with Communist sympathizer Frederick Vanderbilt Field. Mills testified that he was not a Communist Pary member, nor had he ever been, and that his relationship with the Chinese delegates during 1945 was in an official capacity as a representative of CIO Council. His 1949 trip to China was based on private financial interests, as was his business association with Frederick Fields and the American-Chinese Export Corporation.

Between 1953 and 1963, Mills was Director of Development for the Long Island Jewish Hospital. During the mid-1960s Mills participated in fund raising for two organizations associated with Martin Luther King; The Voter Education Fund, sponsored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and for The Gandhi Society for Human Rights.

The Greater New York CIO Council was the central body of the CIO unions in the greater New York area. Established by the national Congress of Industrial Organizations in July, 1940, the Council represented, during its eight year history, approximately 200 CIO local unions (400,000 workers). The Council's Digest Minutes reflect a history of commitment to a broad range of activities and interests. The Council was active in price and rent control, combatting racial discrimination, and campaigning for a raise in workers' wages. The Council, as a conduit for labor solidarity, assisted union organizing drives through the provision of funds, and contributed to union strikes by swelling the numbers behind the picket lines.

With the United States' entry into the war, the Council contributed toward Victory efforts by mobilizing its affiliate union members in a variety of activities, such as blood donor drives and civil defense projects. To ensure the production of war goods during this period, the Council supported Roosevelt's "no-strike" pledge.

After the war, the Council addressed the problem of returning veterans, and post-war concerns of housing and mass unemployment. It continued its campaign for health insurance benefits, fought the Taft-Hartley bill and other anti-labor legislation.

From the description of Papers, 1935-1989. (New York University). WorldCat record id: 226381152

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Mills, Saul, 1910-1988. Papers, 1935-1989. Churchill County Museum
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith AFL-CIO. corporateBody
associatedWith American-Chinese Export Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith American Labor Party. corporateBody
associatedWith Blue Cross of Greater New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Brown, Heywood, 1888-1939. person
associatedWith Congress of Industrial Organizations (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Field, Frederick V. 1905-2000. person
associatedWith Gandhi Society for Human Rights. corporateBody
associatedWith Goldby, Byrne, and Associates, inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Greater New York Industrial Union Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Haywood, Allan S., 1888-1953. person
associatedWith Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Lewis, John Llewellyn, 1880-1969. person
associatedWith Long Island Jewish Hospital. corporateBody
associatedWith Mills Agency. corporateBody
associatedWith Mills, Agnes Karlin. person
associatedWith Newspaper Guild. corporateBody
associatedWith Quill, Michael. person
associatedWith Seacoast Export Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Transport Workers Union of America. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws. corporateBody
associatedWith Voter Education Project (Southern Regional Council) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
China
United States
New York (State)--New YOrk
New York (State)
Subject
Newspaper employees--Labor unions
Anti-communist movements
Wages
Health insurance
Rent control
Strikes and lockouts
Labor movement
Communists
World War, 1939-1945--Veterans
Public health
Race discrimination
Labor leaders
Public relations consultants
Labor unions
Collective bargaining
Radicals
Newspaper employees
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1910

Active 1988

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