CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Longtime Nevada labor leader Claude
"Blackie" Evans died Friday of apparent heart failure at his home
in Henderson. He was 71.
"He was truly an icon of Nevada's labor movement. He did more
for the working guy than anyone I know," said Danny Thompson, who
succeeded Evans in 1999 as head of the state AFL-CIO.
"Nevada has lost a true leader, a man who spent his life
working to make the lives of average Nevadans better," said Gov.
Thompson said Evans had been in poor health although he was able
to attend the union's annual convention last month in Reno. He said
Evans was hospitalized on Wednesday but returned home on Thursday.
Evans, a Joplin, Mo., native, started as a laborer at Titanium
Metal Corp. in Henderson in the early 1950s. The former Golden
Gloves boxer became active in union affairs and developed a
reputation as a tough labor representative.
In 1963, he was elected president of the Steelworkers Union
Local 4856; and in 1971 he was appointed by then-Gov. Mike
O'Callaghan as state labor commissioner.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who was the
state's lieutenant governor at the time, said Evans "was exemplary
in taking care of Nevada workers" while serving as labor
Evans became head of the state AFL-CIO in 1978. The organization
represents more than 150 local unions and more than 120,000
As head of the state AFL-CIO, Evans also oversaw statewide
political action efforts and lobbied for labor-related laws at the
state Legislature. He also sought out candidates for the
Legislature - among them Thompson, who served in the state
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)