An industrialist who made a fortune by forming a corporation of steel production companies, all consolidated into the Carnegie Steel Company. In addition, Carnegie had close business ties with the railroads, enabling him to gain greater control over emerging production centers. Carnegie Steel was later purchased by US Steel, and Carnegie retired.
Active in the American labor movement, one of the founders of the American Railway Union and the Industrial Workers of the World, and the leader of the socialist movement in America, Eugene Debs was a prominent labor activist. He ran for president on the Socialist ticket in 1900, 1904, 1908, and 1912, eventually receiving more than one million votes. Debs was imprisoned for denouncing the war effort during World War I. In prison, he continued his activism and received over 920,000 votes as a presidential candidate for the Socialist party in 1920. However, his health declined, and Debs died only a few years after his release from prison.
An American lawyer and industrialist, Gary was an important person in the US Steel Corporation from its formation until 1927. He expanded the corporation and founded the steel town of Gary, Indiana. Because he believed in the open shop and did not recognize organized labor, conditions for steel workers were deplorable, as was evident in the 1919 strike. Eventually, as a result of negative public opinion, Gary had to lower hours for the workers.
A leader of the Western Federation of Miners, the Socialist party, and the Industrial Workers of the World, "Big Bill Haywood" began his involvement in the labor movement as a miner. He was a militant leader, and advocated the principles of industrial unionism and direct, mass action, as opposed to the conservative cooperation tactics of the AFL. Haywood was convicted on the charge of sedition during World War I, and he escaped to the Soviet Union instead of serving his prison sentence.
As a labor leader of the United Mine Workers, Mitchell was instrumental to the success of the anthracite strike of 1902. He also was vice-president of the American Federation of Labor, and worked for various government commissions.
The son of the famous industrialist J.D. Rockefeller, John Davidson Rockefeller, Jr. was involved in many other business ventures which gained him enormous wealth. His father's influence was pervasive, and John Rockefeller, Jr. was later active in railroads and banks, and also held large amounts of stock in the Colorado mines, which made him a prominent figure in the Colorado Coal War of 1913.