Sad news…

A message from George Mann of George & Julius:

Julius Margolin, 1916-2009 —
One Last Cheer…

Hello all you beautiful people:

I’ve known for some time that I would have to type this message, and I will try to be brief.

Our friend Julius Margolin

a child of the Depression;

an organizer and member of the CIO;

who served in the Merchant Marine and as a member/organizer of the
National Maritime Union during World War II;

survivor of the blacklist that pulled him off the boats in 1949;

a proud member of IATSE Local 52 and delegate to the NYC Central Labor Council;

a lifetime honorary member of both AFM Local 802 and the New York City Labor Chorus, and countless other organizations;

lover of all working people and the struggles they engage in;

and since 1998 a singer/songwriter and performer for all good causes,

died this morning in New York City at the age of 93.

I spent last night with Julius and left him at his apartment at 9:25 this morning. He was comfortable and in no apparent pain. He had been very happy that we had moved him back home under hospice care last week. As I left this morning, I said I’d see him later, took his hand, and he squeezed it. Ten minutes after I left, he was gone. I got the call when I got off the subway….

We have set up a guest book on the opening page of our website, where you may leave messages, stories of Julius, and other remembrances. Look on the left side of the opening page and click on the “sign guest book” button after clicking on this link:

If you would like to listen to and view some great video of Julius, our friend Doug Calvin has posted multiple interviews and video at this site:

We will hold a memorial service and concert on Friday, October 16 in New York City. More info will come later. The one-hour memorial service will be at 5 PM (at either Local 802, 322 W. 48th Street, or Local 1199’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium at 310 W. 43rd Street).

The concert will be from 8:00 to 10:30 PM at the MLK Auditorium, 310 W. 43rd Street, and will feature some of Julius’s closest friends.

I will send details to public listservs and to your email once it is finalized but if you want to be added to an email list for these events, please email me at georgemann at att dot net and I will send you the info.

Julius asked to be cremated and his ashes will be spread on the sea as per his request. I ask that donations be sent to the Scholarship Fund in memory of Julius. This fund was created to help bring young unionists to labor cultural events, most notably the Great Labor Arts Exchange and the Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival, both of which were very dear to him. In fact, I met Julius, and so many other great labor artists and activists, at the Great Labor Arts Exchange in 1996.

Checks/money orders may be made out to “Local 52 Julius Margolin Scholarship Fund” and mailed  to:
George Mann, PO Box 697, New York, NY 10033

Thank you for all your support. Julius did not want for love or appreciation in his final battle. And once we got him back home to his apartment, with books and videos and CDs lining every wall and his friends there with him in the living room, I know he was able to accept that this was the end with the same dignity and quiet humility he displayed all his life.
I will leave you with a note that Julius sent out in late June, after the cancer he had been fighting returned. It is a fitting way to end this message.
If I may ask for something else in his memory, it is that you keep fighting (his words), that you not give up in your determination to make your life and the world a better place, that you show kindness and compassion to people, especially strangers, and minimize your bickering with and negativity about others involved in the struggle. These were the qualities, in a nutshell, that Julius displayed to me from the day I met him, qualities that I will now strive to make part of my character as I go forward.

And in the future, whenever things get you down, take a minute to remember this little old man who had such a big heart and spirit, and hope for the working class of the world. Remember that laugh, that determination, and you will find strength to carry on, as I am finding now.
In Solidarity,

George Mann
To all or our friends and supporters of our music:
I have not been well and don’t get around much any more. And I wish I had been feeling well enough to be more active at this year’s Arts Exchange, where so much important work and beautiful labor songs and art were shared. But I still support our struggle for a better society. For peace and the security of working and progressive people the world round.
With and without me the struggle goes on. There must be one world in peace, security and with a good life for all families of the world.
No more wars, poverty or hatreds must exist. We have an important job to do.
Thanks for listening to George Mann’s and my music and for your support.
Thank you all for everything,
Julius Margolin

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