Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca made huge strides for worker’s rights as a union leader and through civil service. Bellanca started working in a factory at thirteen and organized her fellow workers into the local Union Garment Workers of America at fifteen. By twenty, she had led them to separate into the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and was one of five women out of 175 delegates at the founding convention of ACWA. She became the only woman to serve on ACWA’s General Executive Board and the only woman vice president of a major trade union by the following year. Bellanca stepped down to care for her sick husband in 1922. In 1936, Bellanca became involved in politics, helping found the American Labor Party and supporting FDR’s reelection campaign, and in 1938, she made an unsuccessful run for Congress. During WWII, she was appointed to various federal commissions addressing labor issues like recruiting women for wartime industries and protecting the rights of workers while she continued her involvement with labor unions such as the Women’s Trade Union League.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca." (Viewed on January 26, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/bellanca-dorothy>.