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Richard F. Walsh becomes IA International President

Photo caption: International President Richard Walsh brought a new era of stability to the IA.

Richard F.  Walsh, Third Vice-President of the Alliance, and President and Business Agent of Local 4 (Brooklyn, New York), was elected International President of the IATSE the day after George Browne resigned.

At 41, Walsh was one of the youngest presidents of an international union in the American Federation of Labor.  He inherited an organization stunned by the betrayal of George Browne and responsibility for a Hollywood situation that would erupt in bloody fighting.  It was a heavy burden for a man so young, and would require every ounce of moral strength and courage.

President Walsh won his first full term as International President in 1942.  At that convention, changes to the Alliance constitution were approved that put the president’s term of office back to two years instead of the four that had existed under Browne.

Walsh opened the books and records of the Alliance to the bright light of examination to remove Browne’s legacy of suspicious subterfuge.  He declared that, under his administration, the IA would operate in a “fishbowl. “