On Aug. 7 the world lost a fighter for peace and social justice. Leonard Levenson passed away at the age of 92 in New York City.

Levenson came of political age during the 1930s — the time of the Great Depression, but also of a great people’s fightback against the injustices of the capitalist system. He was inspired by the struggles of that era, and was moved by the vision of a new, socialist society. It was then that he committed himself to a lifelong struggle for socialism and all that came with it: peace, justice, equality and democracy.

In the early 1930s, Levenson was one of the roughly 3,000 young Americans who recognized the threat of fascism looming over the world and joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. They risked their lives in the Spanish Civil War to defend the democratically elected republic against a fascist army aided by Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.

Levenson became a lieutenant in the brigade and was one of the very last to leave Spain as the fascists eventually overran the country.

After the brigade returned to the U.S., Levenson continued his peace and justice activities. He soon joined the U.S. military and risked his life once again in the worldwide battle against fascism during World War II.

Levenson was a proud and prominent member of the Communist Party USA for decades, and was a party leader on Long Island, N.Y., at the height of the anticommunist period known as McCarthyism.

“He was a specialist on the struggle for peace, labor and other issues,” said Jarvis Tyner, executive vice-chair of the Communist Party. “He was really one of our heroes because of his participation in the Spanish Civil War.”

Levenson later moved to New York City and assumed a number of leadership positions in the CPUSA, including as a member of the party’s National Committee. For a number of years he worked as vice president of International Publishers, the Marxist publishing house. He later served as editor of Political Affairs, the CPUSA’s theoretical journal.

Danny Rubin, a co-worker of Levenson’s during those years, said, “He was not only vice president of IP, but he designed the covers and all the makeup of the books. He was very meticulous worker — if there were one or two typos in a book, he would be very unhappy.” Nevertheless, Rubin said, Levenson was very friendly and easy to work with.

During the worldwide tumult in the Communist movement in the early 1990s, Levenson left the CPUSA and joined the Committees of Correspondence. He maintained cordial ties, however, with many of his former comrades in the party.

Never giving up on the fight for the better world that is both possible and necessary, Levenson was an active member of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and was an editor of their newsletter, The Volunteer, until his death.

Many remember Len Levenson fondly and with great respect. “He was a lifelong socialist and Marxist, very dedicated to the struggle,” Rubin said.

Levenson is survived by his children, Eric and Joan, and numerous grandchildren. His wife, Goldie, a progressive economist, preceded him in death. A memorial for Len Levenson will be held in New York City at a date to be announced.