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Secretaries of L&I


William Joseph Hart

Photo of William Joseph Hart

William Joseph Hart was born on December 7, 1907, in Lawrenceville. He was educated in Pittsburgh public schools, Duquensne Preparatory School, and he studied engineering at Carnegie Institute of Technology.

His first interest in the American labor movement came when he began working as a layer-out at the Blaw-Know Company. He organized a labor union there and was discharged for his activity.

Continuing work for expanded unionization at great personal sacrifice, he was ultimately appointed to a position in a new organizational field by the late Philip Murray — then President of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). When the steelworker's organizing committee became the United Steelworkers of America (USA), Hart was named Acting Director for the union of District 19 in Allegheny County. In 1940 he was elected Director of USA District 19 and held that position until he was granted a leave of absence, effective January 15, 1967, to become Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Hart was active in community affairs, serving as: President of the Allegheny Labor Council; a member of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board; Administrator of USA District 7; a member of the National Citizens Commission for Public Schools; a member of the Citizens General Hospital of New Kensington's Board of Trustees; a member of the Pittsburgh Board of School Directors; a member of the National War Labor Board, and of several other wartime civic and governmental wartime agencies; a member of the Catholic Business Education Association of the American Catholic Sociological Society; a member of the Pittsburgh Press Old Newsboys; and a member of the National Planning Association. Hart was a 4th Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus — the highest level attainable — and a member of the Eagles, the Moose, and the Knights of Equity.

He has written articles for the Catholic Business Review, the Pittsburgh Catholic, CIO News, various newspapers, magazines, and bulletins for the National Citizens Commission for Public Schools.

A registered Democrat, Hart was appointed Secretary of Labor and Industry by Republican Governor Raymond Shafer in 1967. After leaving the Department, Hart returned to his former duties as District Director of USA Local 19.

From PA Manual, 1967.