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Fred Basset Blair (October 4, 1906 – March 21, 2005) was born the son of a coal miner in Berlin, Wisconsin in 1906. His family, of French-Canadian heritage, has lived in the state for more than 150 years. He had worked as a sand farmer, in the stone quarries of Red Granite, as a tannery worker, on the railroads, and in many factories. He had been a member of the Longshoreman's Union, the Furniture Workers, Railway Clerks, and Paper, Pulp and Sufite Workers Union.
Blair attended the University of Wisconsin as a Zona Gale scholar.
Becoming active in left wing politics, he joined the Communist Party USA in 1929 running for governor in 1930, 1932, 1940, 1942, 1966, and 1974. He also ran for U.S. Senator for Wisconsin in the 1938 election. Blair survived multiple investigations into his activities in the 1940s and 50s and remained as the head of the Communist Party of Wisconsin well into the 1970s. In the Governor's race in 1974, he received 3,617 votes.
Blair and his wife Mary ran "Mary's Bookshop" in Milwaukee for 13 years; Blair was well known for his poetry and love of literature.
In November 1966, there was an attempt on Blair's life when a 17-year-old Brookfield Wisconsin youth entered Mary's Bookshop and tried to shoot Blair with a handgun. Blair was not wounded although a customer in the store was shot during a scuffle with the assailant.
- Testimony by and concerning Paul Corbin: Hearings, United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities, Paul Corbin, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1962, pg. 1320
- "Fred Blair". Retrieved 2010-01-24.
- Milwaukee Journal May 23, 1947
- Milwaukee Journal June 27, 1947
- Fred B. Blair for Governor Booklet - Communist Party of Wisconsin 1974
- New York Times November 29, 1966 - Communist beats off youth
- Milwaukee Journal November 28, 1966
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