Template:TOCnestleft Robert (Bob) Klonsky was a leader of the Communist Party USA. He was married to fellow Communist Helen Klonsky, who died on September 7, 1977. He was the father of Mike Klonsky and Fred Klonsky.
Klonsky grew up in a large Jewish family in Brownsville, Brooklyn, the son of a rabbi. He was expelled from school for organizing an anti-war demonstration and never graduated.
Instead, in 1936, he hopped a freighter to France,crossed the Pyrenees and joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, a group of American volunteers fighting on the side of the Spanish Republican government against the fascist forces of of Francisco Franco.
The war in Spain was the precursor to World War II and Klonsky and his comrades were described as "premature anti-fascists" by novelist Ernest Hemingway and other writers.
Upon his return to the US in 1938, he joined the Communist Party USA and spent his life as a union organizer and radical activist.
In the 1950's, he was a target of McCarthyism and convicted of being part of an anti-government "conspiracy" under the Smith Act. He served time in prison before the Supreme Court overturned the case.
During the 1960's, he worked with many of the blacklisted Hollywood writers and directors who were also targets of the McCarthy period, and organized many members of the film industry in opposition to the Vietnam war and for various civil rights causes.
He was married twice. His first wife, Helen, died in 1976 of cancer. His second wife, Peggy, died in 2001 at their home in the Santa Cruz area.
1997 May Day
In People's Weekly World, May Day Special Supplement, Section J, 1997 an advertisement was placed "Solidarity with workers everywhere in their struggles for a better life for all! from Northern California Friends of the People's Weekly World/Nuestri Mundo:
Signatories included Robert Klonsky.
- Daily World July 13, 1977
- People's Weekly World, September 14, 2002