Photograph of Ishmael and Cathern Davis Flory on their wedding day. Flory moved to Los Angeles from Louisiana at the age of 11. He graduated from Jefferson High School and briefly attended UCLA. In 1931, he became a Pullman porter and was an active member of the Pullman Porters' union. He later became a railroad dining car chef and a leader of the Dining Car Employees union. Flory moved to Chicago in 1939, where he headed the Joint Council of Dining Car Employees and later became an organizer for the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers union. During the 1940s and 1950s, Flory worked closely with Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, and William L. Patterson in early civil rights struggles. They pioneered the successful national campaign to integrate major league baseball. In 1960 Flory founded the African American Heritage Association, an early champion of African and African-American studies. In 1970-1971 he was a leader of the national campaign to free activist Angela Davis from a murder charge in California. Flory joined the Communist Party in the early 1930s. He ran for governor of Illionois on the Communist Party ticket in 1972, the first time the CPUSA was allowed on the Illinois ballot since 1932. He ran for the U. S. Senate in 1974, and Illinois governor again in 1976. Flory died in Chicago on Feb. 19, 2004, at the age of 96.
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