- Browder, Earl Russell
- (1891-1973)Born in Wichita, Kansas, Earl Browder joined the Socialist Party in 1906, and in 1914 he formed the League for Democratic Control to oppose U.S. entry into World War I. In 1917, he was jailed for two years for draft evasion. Browder joined the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA), went to Moscow in 1921, and was editor of the Labor Herald until 1926. He went to China in 1926 to organize communist trade unions. Upon his return in 1929, he joined the ruling council of the CPUSA and in 1934 became general secretary. He led the call for a united front against fascism, and in 1935 at Moscow’s behest, this became the more inclusive Popular Front. Browder ran in the presidential election of 1936 but obtained a mere 80,159 votes. The Popular Front came to a rapid end when the Soviet Union signed a nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany in August 1939. Browder and the party opposed any involvement in the conflict in Europe, until 1941 when they became committed to all-out support. These swings in position did nothing to enhance support for the CPUSA, and in the election of 1940 Browder’s vote was down to 46,251. In 1941, Browder was jailed for 18 months for passport fraud, but his sentence was commuted in the interests of national unity. In 1944, he declared the Communist Party no longer necessary and replaced it with the Communist Political Association. He was expelled from the CPUSA and replaced by William Z. Foster in 1945.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.