Lord Gormley; Leader of Mine Strikes

Associated Press

Lord Gormley, who led the miners strikes that helped bring down a government in 1974, has died. He was 75.

Gormley, who died Thursday, was president of the National Union of Mineworkers from 1971 to 1982. He had cancer.

He directed strikes in 1972 and 1974 that crippled the British economy and helped defeat Edward Heath's Conservative government in 1974.

Born Joe Gormley, he followed his father into the coal mines at age 14. Gormley rose through the union ranks and became a popular leader in the days when trade unions played an active part in running Britain.

He became Lord Gormley in 1982 with his appointment to Parliament's upper chamber, the House of Lords.

He suffered a stroke soon afterward that left his speech severely impaired. Further strokes left him partially paralyzed.

John Smith, leader of the opposition Labor Party, hailed Gormley as "a dedicated servant of the British miners and a loyal stalwart of the labor movement."

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