Who are some of the people who have been members of the CPUSA?

  • W. E. B. DuBois, the most prominent African American scholar, founder of the NAACP and long-time editor of its paper, The Crisis.
  • Gus Hall, one of the founders of the Steelworkers Union and long-time General Secretary and then Chair of the Party.
  • Claudia Jones, from the West Indies, head of work among women, deported during the McCarthy period.
  • John Reed, journalist and author of Ten Days That Shook The World. The movie Reds is about his life.
  • William Z. Foster, organizer of the 1919 Steel Strike.
  • Benjamin Davis and Pete Caccionne, both elected to the NY Board of Aldermen in the 40s.
  • Henry Winston, Chair of the Party from mid-60s to early 80s.
  • William Patterson, civil rights lawyer and head of the Civil Rights Congress.
  • Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (Joe Hill’s “Rebel Girl”) was an IWW and free speech activist. She was also a founder and leader of the ACLU. She was kicked out in 1940. Flynn was also chair of the Party during the early 60s.
  • Paul Robeson, athlete, scholar, actor, singer, activist, and much more.
  • Lucy Parsons, widow of Albert Parsons (Haymarket martyr).
  • Theodore Dreiser, the author of An American Tragedy, Sister Carrie, and other classics of American literature.
  • Dashiell Hammett, the author of Maltese Falcon, and other classic mysteries.
  • Sen Katayama, Japanese Communist who helped found the CPUSA

The list of Communists who have made significant contributions to our country and its politics and culture is much too long to complete here. If the list were expanded to include non-Party leftists, such as Harry Bridges, ILWU founder and leader who worked closely with Communists, the full impact of radicals on U. S. culture and society would be quite impressive.

This list is just a start..