A campus Communist headed toward a career with the ‘Pennsylvania Worker’
A selection of headlines and stories from the Pennsylvania Worker from the years Noyma Appelbaum served on staff. | People's World Archive

This is the fifth in a series of excerpted stories from a memoir by Noyma Appelbaum, “Where Were You on May Day? Transitions in Red, 1930s-1960s.” Earlier installments can be read here.

During my first year in college, I had little contact with left-wing political activity. My family moved to a new home, a row house in a middle class Jewish neighborhood off Roosevelt Blvd. in what Philadelphians call the lower northeast. This was our first house, and my brother and I now had our own rooms. I concentrated on my studies, my job, making new friends in a new neighborhood and at college, Temple’s football and basketball teams, and relationships with young women. Because I was very busy, my body and psyche demanded some kind of relaxed activity at the end of a week, and I always made sure I had a date or social event to go to on Friday or Saturday nights. Costs in the period 1945-47 were such that I could afford an inexpensive date while earning only $9 a week.

I had never completely lost contact with the leftwing movement. During my high school and early college years, I continued to read PM, the left-liberal experimental newspaper that carried no advertising, and the Daily Worker. In 1946, I became active in Temple’s American Youth for Democracy (AYD) chapter, and in 1947, a member of the Temple Club of the Communist Party asked me to join. Ten years older than me, he was one of the thousands of veterans who attended college in those years under the G.I. Bill. Joining the Party seemed to be a natural thing for me to do, since I had been associated with the Party and its activities all my life.

Many years later, I learned from reading my FBI files that the FBI knew almost immediately that I had joined the Party. In those days, the Party was still casual, perhaps indifferent, about protecting membership information. My membership application provided the usual personal data, and was easily available at the Party’s office at 250 S. Broad St. The FBI regularly broke into the Party’s headquarters as one of their “black bag” operations, and stole or photographed Party information, including easily accessed membership lists. They photographed my Party application, and from then on, I (together with many others) was in their files as a CP member. The Party was a legal and open organization, and directed its activities, policies, and literature toward the public. Yet, it would have been wise to maintain strict control of membership lists, since public exposure of Party membership usually brought with it social and economic penalties. It was around that time that the Party stopped issuing membership cards and maintained tight control of its membership lists.

Party membership immediately connected me with a group of young people at Temple and at various other local campuses who were active in student affairs. A good number of my new associates had been active before the war in the American Student Union and the Young Communist League, and some were active in the AYD. A large number of them were veterans and considerably older. Quite a few were aspiring artists studying at Temple’s Tyler School of Art. Many of my student friends majored in education and the sciences; several were medical students; and many were liberal arts students. I was the lone journalism major.

A 1945 pamphlet from American Youth for Democracy. | Courtesy of CPUSA Archives

From that time, my friendships and social life involved almost exclusively people in the left-wing movement. A byproduct of this newfound awareness was my breakup with a girl whom I had dated regularly for more than a year. I suddenly realized that there were insurmountable differences in our world outlooks even though my personal relationship with her was pleasant and tranquil. I was heavy-handed in the way I provoked an argument with her that led to the breakup. I regret how I handled that.

Under pressure from European Communists, the Party had reconstituted itself and resumed its Marxist-Leninist orientation. [Editor’s note: In 1944, the Communist Party had renamed itself the Communist Political Association and pursued a non-party form of organization and political activity, departing from what was then understood as the “Leninist” model of a vanguard party. In 1945, this course was reversed.] The Soviet Union had emerged victorious from the war; Eastern Europe was under socialist control; and the French and Italian Communists led mass parties. The Chinese Communists were successfully fighting the reactionary Nationalists. In the United States, unions in the major industries were leading a massive strike wave. Liberal and progressive organizations were alive and functioning. The time seemed right for participation in the left and Communist movement.

In the Party’s student clubs, we studied Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin. The latter had emerged from the war as a heroic revolutionary figure and carried a great deal of respect and ideological authority. The Party’s student program fostered activity against the KKK and racism, for peaceful relations with the Soviet Union, for academic freedom, and against Universal Military Training, an issue that had considerable relevance at the time. Our “mass activity” was in the AYD, the liberal American Veterans Committee, student government, and a variety of non-political campus groups. The aim in all cases was to foster common action against the reactionary tendencies in American life that were growing stronger rapidly, especially the oppression of the Negro people and the possibility of nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

Few of my professors were exceptional as people or as pedagogues. Most were conventionally competent and blandly ordinary. Several were rabidly reactionary. I recall their faces and personalities as a gray blur.

I experienced considerable tension in a political science class with Prof. Gale Lawrence. The case of the Hollywood Ten was constantly in the news in the fall of 1947. They refused to answer questions or name names in appearances before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Prof. Lawrence denounced the Ten in many of our classes. If they have nothing to hide, he asked stridently, why don’t they cooperate with the Committee? I wriggled in my seat as he suppressed questions or discussion.

Three people inspired me intellectually during my four years as an undergraduate: Dr. David Webster, with whom I studied Shakespeare and the American short story; Dr. Elizabeth Schneider, with whom I took a survey course in English literature and a course in modern English poetry; and Dr. Barrows Dunham, with whom I took several courses in philosophy and a course in logic. Prof. Dunham was fired by Temple University in the mid-1950s because he refused to cooperate with HUAC. These three are the only ones who came close to rivaling the people I met outside academia in terms of personal vitality and critical acumen.

The attacks keep coming

As we continued to advance our program, major witch-hunts against the left were unleashed. Attorney General Tom Clark issued his infamous list of Communist and “Communist-dominated” organizations. Federal, state, and local authorities required public employees to sign non-Communist and loyalty oaths. HUAC and their several state versions conducted inquisitions of left and progressive individuals and organizations. Sen. Joseph McCarthy heightened his campaign against real or imagined Communists with a passion that today we refer to as McCarthyism. The government began direct persecution of Communists by indicting 12 national Party leaders under the Smith Act. Some victims of the witch-hunt suffered jail terms on “contempt” charges.

We tried not to allow the attacks to deter us from acting on our program; yet the attacks were powerful. The Attorney General put the AYD on his infamous list of “subversive” organizations. Temple’s administration banned the AYD on campus. We resisted by holding meetings with campus leaders and faculty members asking for their support. I, among others, distributed leaflets a number of mornings to students at the busy Broad & Columbia subway stop. We leafleted Temple’s urban campus and used every public avenue we could find to explain why banning the AYD was a serious violation of free speech. City AYD leaders and a committee of Temple student members, of which I was one, met with Dr. Robert Johnson, president of the university. In a brief meeting, he curtly and bluntly confirmed the ban of AYD on Temple’s campus, and there was no appeal.

Banning the AYD in 1947 did not stop our activity. We tried to implement our program by other means. In 1948, we worked to build the Young Progressives of America, a youth organization that grew in conjunction with the Progressive Citizens of America. The PCA was a left-liberal coalition in the post-war era that formed the foundation of the Progressive Party, which ran Henry Wallace for president against Harry Truman and Thomas E. Dewey in 1948. We supported the third party movement by forming a Students-for-Wallace Club on Temple’s campus. Despite the quickening of the anti-left, anti-Communist movement, the Party club experienced modest growth. We recruited several new members, and enlarged the number of close contacts with friendly students. I suspect that a few people we attracted were FBI plants, but I have no proof.

2019 marks a century since the founding of the Communist Party USA. To commemorate the anniversary of the longest-surviving socialist organization in the United States, People’s World launched the article series: 100 Years of the Communist Party USA. Read the other articles published in the series.

Between 1945 and 1950, our spirit of optimism continued to pervade Party ranks despite the fact that attacks on the Party, the left, and progressives in the labor movement had intensified. The Party was influential in the leadership of some large unions. A Committee of Maritime Unity involving key waterfront unions in New York seemed to herald a renewed period of labor activism. An enthusiastic convention of AYD in New York seemed to portend the growth of a left-oriented youth movement. The convention featured a huge rally in New York’s Manhattan Center that was addressed by Joe Stack of the National Maritime Union, and other labor leaders.

I recall a conversation I had in 1949 with a building trades union local official and veteran Communist, a man who had been one of my father’s associates. He said he expected the United States would become a “People’s Democracy” by 1955. He was referring to the type of left-unity governments led by Communists in Eastern European countries, which were supposed to evolve into socialist governments. In his view, the world was turning red. The evidence seemed to be in front of our eyes. Communist armies were winning in China. Workers recently had imposed a socialist government in Czechoslovakia. Large, powerful Communist parties in France and Italy were contesting for power.

It seemed that an irresistible worldwide surge toward socialism would influence politics in the United States as well. He was an experienced leader and Party activist and he was serious about his estimate of the political situation. I sensed that other Party leaders and activists shared his ideas. In those years, I was very young and relatively inexperienced, and I deferred to the opinions of older leaders.

The optimism dissipated as the CPUSA and associated progressive organizations suffered even more severe attacks between 1950 and 1955. Despite that comrade’s prediction, in 1955 the U.S. was not about to become a People’s Democracy. In fact, the Party was about to experience shocks from another direction, the shocks of the Khrushchev revelations about the Stalin years and the uprising against the Communist-led government in Hungary. The optimism that I perceived in the late 1940s gave way to dogged resistance in the early 1950s, and to widespread questioning within the movement after 1956.

Benjamin Weiss, public affairs director of the Communist Party of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware, at the offices of the party in Philadelphia, April 9, 1956, shortly after a Treasury Department raid over alleged failure to pay taxes. Repression of the party increased throughout the 1950s. | Courtesy of CPUSA Archives

One of my recollections about the Party in Eastern Pennsylvania in those years was the poor quality of its educational work among its own members. While New York had the Jefferson School and Philadelphia had a Marxist school during the 1930s and early 1940s, there was no comparable center for Marxist studies in this area from the time the Party was reconstituted in 1945 through my entire membership in the Party. I do not recall any organized opportunity to study such basic Marxist works as Capital.

Pamphlets and works by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Dimitrov, and others were available at the Party’s bookstore, located for years in the 200 block of south 11th St., but there was no coherent effort to disseminate their contents among Party members. The Party used short-term intensive training sessions led by local leaders as the most common form of political education. The contents of these sessions focused on work among African-Americans, trade union work and the struggle against monopoly capital, the international situation, and the key role played by the Soviet Union in the fight to prevent nuclear war. However, there was little serious effort to locate these ideas in the basic tenets of Marxist thought.

Two years writing for the Pennsylvania Worker

In 1947, the Daily Worker created a number of regional weekend editions in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, New England, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the South, the Rocky Mountain area, and the Midwest. The idea was to provide news of and leadership for local struggles that the editors of The Worker in New York could not cover. Each regional edition, prepared by local people, amounted to a four-page wrapper around the national edition of The Worker. Walter Lowenfels, the Daily Worker’s correspondent in Philadelphia, edited the Pennsylvania edition.

In late 1947 or early 1948, I quit my job at the Inquirer and joined the staff of the Pennsylvania Worker. I was young, unattached, eager for new experiences, and weary of the reactionary world I worked in at the Inquirer. I wanted to do things journalistically that I really believed in, and Walter needed help in producing the Pennsylvania Worker. A group of volunteers with professional newspaper backgrounds had been assisting him, but volunteers, most of whom have full-time jobs, are limited in what they can offer a publication that must meet a firm deadline week after week.

It is surprising how much effort is required to prepare four pages of written material, including copy reading, writing headlines, laying out pages, and inserting photographs. Several people working an entire weekend barely were able to accomplish that. I proposed to Walter that I quit my copy boy job and join him on a paid basis, thereby helping him and simultaneously giving me the professional satisfaction I was seeking. I suggested I work part-time during the school year and full-time in the summer. My only proviso was that I should earn the same salary I earned at the Inquirer so that I could make expenses and tuition payments for the year and a half remaining before graduation. The Party approved the idea.

My newspaper skills and political development were such that the job was the right one for me at that moment. Of course, going to work for the Pennsylvania Worker meant that I would cut off possibilities of employment in mainstream journalism. I understood the risk, but I was willing to take my chances. I wanted to become a revolutionary journalist, someone in the mold of the Australian Wilfred Burchett, who became well known years later. One of my role models was Joseph North, whose work I admired, especially his story Left Hook!, which I had read in An Anthology of Proletarian Literature. As it turned out, I stood no chance of promotion at the Inquirer even if I had stayed, since the FBI had informed the Inquirer’s personnel department of my politics.

The next two years were an exciting, freewheeling time for me, even as the reactionary, anti-communist offensive was intensifying. I spent a lot of time with Walter in planning, writing, and editing the paper. We focused on several key issues: oppression of African Americans, with special emphasis on police brutality; labor, especially steel, electrical, machining, and coal mining, and the Philadelphia waterfront; Pennsylvania and Philadelphia politics; the peace movement; civil liberties. Comrades in the Pittsburgh area submitted material on those issues, emphasizing the steel, coal, and electrical equipment industries in Western Pennsylvania. We organized special editions that coordinated with Party campaigns on the Philadelphia waterfront and the steel industry in Bethlehem.

One issue that we tackled regularly had to do with the fare increases perennially sought by the Philadelphia Transportation Co., formerly known as the PRT (Philadelphia Rapid Transit), and currently known as SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority). Our position at that time was that high transit fares had more to do with the need to pay dividends to holders of transit company bonds than with higher costs. The bondholders were what were referred to as “underliers,” the people who owned the city’s original horse-drawn trolley car lines. Their investments in dead horses and obsolete cars were protected in the form of bonds that were passed down to their descendants.

One of our most effective campaigns had to do with police brutality in Philadelphia. We campaigned against Frank Rizzo, a notoriously brutal police captain at the 12th & Pine Sts. police station. He personally led physical attacks by police on Black citizens and arrested large numbers of them on trumped-up charges. Rizzo later became police commissioner and then mayor of the city and gained national notoriety for his brutal style. We knew we drew blood on this issue despite our small circulation when the Philadelphia edition of the Baltimore Afro-American, a conservative Black newspaper, printed a front-page article “exposing” Communist involvement in the campaign against police brutality. Garish red, presumably bloody, footprints were overprinted on the article. Nevertheless, several local Black newspapermen with whom Walter had developed close relations over the years cooperated with us and shared information in a common fight against frame-ups of Black citizens.

The winning of a new trial for Bayard Jenkins is detailed on the front page of the national Daily Worker, Sept. 19, 1949. | People’s World Archives

In 1949, Walter did a remarkable job of investigative journalism in uncovering the police frame-up of Bayard Jenkins, a 20-year-old Black man convicted in the murder of a white woman. Walter found evidence suggesting that Jenkins, an ice deliveryman, had been convicted of a murder that probably had been committed by the woman’s white boyfriend. The case became the center of a major civil rights struggle in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Worker hammered on the issue week after week. A special edition devoted to the issue sold 900 copies in the neighborhood (11th St. & Girard Ave.) of the crime on a Sunday in the midst of a major snowstorm.

A 1949 cartoon depicting the Pennsylvania edition of The Worker with a headline: “Free Jenkins. | People’s World Archives

The Party built a significant movement around the case. The evidence exonerating Jenkins was compelling. A prominent Black attorney took the case and won a new trial for Jenkins. The Daily Worker ran a front-page banner headline in its national edition: ‘Worker Expose Wins Retrial for Doomed Negro.’ Unfortunately, Jenkins was convicted in the second trial and was sentenced to life in prison. I still think he was innocent. Recently, a Black Party associate and activist of those years told me that in his opinion the struggle in the Jenkins case served as a model for the civil rights and black freedom campaigns that developed in the next decade.

The Wallace campaign

One of our major efforts involved the Wallace campaign in 1948. We publicized the local efforts of the Progressive Party and the Pennsylvania campaign for Henry Wallace. We sat in the press section at Convention Hall, where the Democrats, Republicans, and Progressives each held their nominating conventions that year. In addition to our Pennsylvania coverage, the national edition of The Worker published one sidebar story I did on the Republican convention. The Wallace campaign exemplified the enthusiasm within the left which I’ve described previously. The enthusiasm was particularly strong in Philadelphia, the scene of the Progressive Party’s founding convention and a rally at Shibe Park involving 25,000 people who heard Wallace and Sen. Glen Taylor accept the nominations for president and vice-president. The enthusiasm extended to the Pennsylvania Progressive Party’s founding convention in York, Pa. York was the site of considerable support for the Wallace movement because Josiah Gitt, publisher of the York Gazette & Daily, had endorsed and worked for Wallace’s candidacy.

A billboard for the 1948 Henry Wallace presidential campaign on the Progressive Party ticket.

Many people on the left, especially young people like me, expected Wallace to gain a significant vote. The Wallace campaign failed to generate the mass progressive political movement we had anticipated, though. Wallace received a little more than a million votes nationally, far fewer than the five million that would have made a significant political impact. Building an independent third party movement at that time has since been described as a strategic mistake by the left. It separated left forces from their natural allies in the labor and black movements who were not ready to break with the Democratic Party. It was another of the sectarian positions that has plagued the left over the years.

Those were learning years for me. Aside from developing skills in writing routine news reports and doing editing chores, I did considerable labor reporting, which required hours of research and cultivation of sources. The labor coverage included reports on the situation of longshoremen on Philadelphia’s docks. The shape-up system of hiring was still in existence in those years because of the connivance of corrupt leaders of the International Longshoremen’s Association.

Other labor reports involved the Philadelphia transit system and the poor working situation of trolley and subway motormen and bus drivers. I traveled to Bethlehem, Pa., where I reported on conditions in the Bethlehem Steel mill. I did a report on the labor movement in Lancaster, which merited a full page in the national Daily Worker. In one unplanned episode, I confronted Mike Quill, president of the Transport Workers Union, who had recently broken with the left, in an impromptu interview at a public meeting of the TWU’s Philadelphia local. Party people close to the various scenes of action assisted me and gave me background information in most of my labor reports.

During my two years with the Pennsylvania Worker, I served an apprenticeship in newspaper work. I learned how to track down information, quickly digest it, and put it into readable form. I learned to edit articles and news reports and eliminate verbiage and poor locutions. One of the most important things I learned was to work under pressure. We worked late into Sunday night and brought the material directly to the main post office for mailing because it had to be in the New York office Monday morning.

Remembering Walter Lowenfels

Working with Walter Lowenfels was a transforming experience. We collaborated almost on a daily basis for about two years. He was more than twice my age, yet we related as equals. His ego did not require deference from me because of his greater experience. I was at ease as we exchanged ideas for stories. Walter’s influence on me did not result from specific didactic moments. It derived from a mode of thinking and acting that I absorbed in the course of our collaboration.

Walter had been one of the expatriate poets, writers, and artists who gathered in Europe, especially in Paris, after World War I. He had gained a reputation as a poet’s poet, and in 1927, he shared the Edward Arlington Award for Poetry with e. e. cummings. In Paris, he was a close friend of Henry Miller, Nancy Cunard, Anaïs Nin, and other well-known writers of the 1920s and 1930s. He became a Marxist and, in the mid-1930s, returned to the U.S. with his wife Lillian and their four daughters. In the late 1930s, he became the Daily Worker’s Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania correspondent.

Walter Lowenfels, poet and editor of the Pennsylvania Worker.

I spent many hours with the Lowenfels family in their West Philadelphia home and ate many meals with them while working on the Pennsylvania Edition in their kitchen before and after dinner. Walter revealed very little to me about his experiences in Europe and about his early writings, which had appeared in many “little magazines.” He was reluctant to talk about his earlier life, and it was not until many years later that I learned something about his days in Paris. Walter’s poetry writing had lapsed during his years as a Daily Worker correspondent. However, he had always thought of himself primarily as a poet and resumed writing poetry during the years I worked with him. One of his first new poems dealt with the threat to humanity posed by the prospect of atomic warfare.

Walter and family introduced me to two new (to me) aspects of living: How to make vinaigrette salad dressing from scratch and to enjoy crusty bread instead of the cottony white bread I had eaten all my life. These were tastes they had acquired during their years in France.

During my association with the Lowenfels family, I came to know Lee Hays, who had been living in their home. Lee was a giant of a man, who made many wry and acute comments about the world around us. One of his ancestors had been a governor of Arkansas, and sometimes he pretended to be a country boy at heart, a “hick” who saw through the ways of city people. He was a gifted writer and wrote articles and stories under assumed names, one of which was Leah Haize. I was working on the paper when Lee left Philadelphia to join The Weavers, who were about to embark on their storied career. I saw Lee only once again, at the Peekskill demonstration in 1949.

Walter was an able newspaper correspondent and writer of prose. Occasionally, his poetry appeared in his newspaper writing, despite Milton Howard, who as managing editor of the Daily Worker opposed publishing poetry in the paper. On one occasion, Walter wrote a story about a steelworker in Pittsburgh who had fallen into a crucible of molten steel from an overhead catwalk. The company retrieved the remains of that worker, a few pieces of scorched cloth, from the plant’s ventilating system. Walter’s story on the tragedy was a poem written in prose form. It did not look like poetry, but because of Walter’s skill, the report carried the impact of a newspaper article while simultaneously conveying imagery normally found in a poem. Walter’s image of the worker embedded in a steel girder and his cries of “Remember me! Remember me!” seem perfect in that context. Walter worked them into the text so skillfully that it is difficult to say if one is reading prose or poetry. He successfully blurred the imaginary line between the two forms of writing.

In late 1948, I met my wife-to-be, Ellen Tecosky, a very attractive, talented, highly intelligent, sensitive, gentle, and supportive young woman, who was active in the progressive youth movement. Our romance developed over a period of months, and we married in June 1949. We have struggled together through years of anti-Communist hysteria, economic dislocation, and rearing of three children and several dogs, the first a puppy we received as a wedding present from Walter and Lillian Lowenfels. We named him Lefty. Ellen had natural gifts as an artist, which she displayed in sculpture, design, and cooking. She was extremely resourceful and could find inventive solutions to problems large and small. We remained together until her death not long ago as I was writing this memoir. We closely followed, and participated when we could, in the struggles of the day, and in the rearing of two grandchildren.


Several personal landmark events occurred in rapid order. In May 1949, I celebrated my 21st birthday at a party given by Ellen and my family, the first birthday party of my life. A month later, I was graduated from Temple, a few days after which Ellen and I married. I barely tolerated academic work in my senior year. I was very impatient to get out into the world and move on with my married life and my political and professional activities.

From July 1949 until the summer of 1950, I worked full-time for the Pennsylvania Worker, earning my usual $18 a week. During some of that time, Ellen worked as the receptionist in the Party office. In late summer of 1949, four Party friends and I drove to Peekskill, N.Y., to participate with several thousand people in the famous free speech demonstration led by Paul Robeson. We barely made our exit safely through the angry, stone-throwing mobs that bordered the roads out of Peekskill. I learned years later that these attacks were planned and carried out by the local KKK organization.

In view of the intensification of the anti-Communist campaign nationally, the Party’s leaders in 1950 decided that the country was in a pre-fascist period, and took measures to guarantee continuity of leadership in the event of an actual fascist takeover and outlawing of the Party. Some Party leaders disappeared; others changed their daily habits and did not sleep at a location more than a few days in succession. New people replaced leaders who had become “unavailable.” We knew some of them only by their Party names. Efforts by the Party’s leaders to frustrate surveillance by the FBI and local and state police forces usually did not succeed. Police agents generally knew the whereabouts of most Party leaders despite efforts at deception. It became clear that maintaining contact with Party members in order to provide leadership increased the risk of exposure. Those leaders furthest removed from actual contact with the membership were most successful in hiding their whereabouts.

Walter went to Mexico for an extended period. I did not know where he went until he returned. He did not tell me he was leaving; he simply disappeared. I knew enough not to ask questions and produced our Pennsylvania Edition with the help of several volunteers, one of whom was Augusta Strong, an experienced journalist. Augusta was the wife of Ed Strong, who was the Party’s District Organizer in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Ed previously had been a leader in black youth and labor struggles, primarily in the South, and was one of the founders of the Southern Negro Youth Congress. Ed also was “unavailable” at the time.

In the summer of 1950, the Party stopped my employment with the Pennsylvania Worker; scarce funds now were required for other purposes. Ellen and I had no financial reserves, and I needed to find a job quickly. A year earlier, we had borrowed $50 to pay for two gold wedding bands and the marriage license. Our wedding presents paid for our honeymoon and start-up living expenses. We had lived for a year on our two small salaries, but we had not accumulated any savings.

I tried to return to my old job at the Inquirer. A personnel officer turned me down abruptly. In the course of a brief interview, he curtly asked if I had been in trouble with the police. I told him I had never been arrested, but the tone and direction of his questions indicated he knew about my politics. I was not surprised. I briefly considered moving far from Philadelphia and starting over in journalism, possibly on a small-town newspaper, uncertain whether my political past would follow me wherever I went. But Ellen and I wanted to live near our families. At the age of 22, I gave up newspaper work and began a second career, a seven-year period of working in a variety of occupations, most of them in heavy industry.


Noyma Appelbaum
Noyma Appelbaum

Noyma Appelbaum was born in 1928 in Philadelphia. In his youth, he was a member of the Young Pioneers of America and later the Communist Party. As a journalism student at Temple University, he wrote for and edited the Pennsylvania edition of the Daily Worker. After working in industry for a number of years, he became an educator in the Philadelphia area.