Robert Zieger

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Dr. Robert Zieger
Born August 2, 1938
Died March 6, 2013 (2013-03-07) (aged 74)
Nationality United States
Fields Labor Historian
Institutions University of Florida
Alma mater University of Maryland

Robert H. "Bob" Zieger (August 2, 1938 – March 6, 2013) was a renowned labor historian whose research focused on the labor history of the United States.


Early years[edit]

Robert Zieger was born August 2, 1938, in Englewood, New Jersey to John and Grace (Harman) Zieger. He married Gay Pitman in 1962. They had one child, Robert.

Zieger received his bachelor's degree from Montclair State College in 1960, a master's degree from the University of Wyoming in 1961, and his doctorate in history from the University of Maryland in 1965.


Zieger obtained an appointment as an assistant professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point in 1964, rising to associate professor by 1973. He was an associate professor of history at Kansas State University from 1973 to 1977, and a professor of history at Wayne State University from 1977 to 1986.

In 1986, Zieger was appointed professor of history at the University of Florida. He was named Distinguished Professor of History in 1998.

Unlike many members of the University of Florida’s History Department, Zieger’s teaching style was very student oriented. He used a very detailed website that allows people taking his class to fully understand every single day of lecture. Also, he was adamant about making sure his undergraduates come prepared to discuss the material to be covered in class. This has twofold benefit, as it not only ensures preparation, but also allows students to boost their grade with frequent quizzes covering the reading material.[citation needed][1]

Awards and memberships[edit]

Zieger was a distinguished labor historian. His books have twice won the highly prestigious Philip Taft Labor History Book Award for the best book in labor history.

In 1985, Zieger's Rebuilding the Pulp and Paper Workers' Union, 1933-1941 was a Taft Prize co-winner with Paul Avrich's The Haymarket Tragedy.[ISBN 0-691-00600-8]

Zieger won the Taft Prize again in 1995 for his 1994 book, The CIO, 1935-1955.

Zieger was a member of the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association. He was also a member of the Historians of American Communism, and served as the organization's president from 1989 to 1992.


  • Robin Hood in the Silk City: The I.W.W. and the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913. Newark, N.J.: New Jersey Historical Society, 1966.
  • Republicans and Labor, 1919-1929. Lexington, Ky.: University of Kentucky Press, 1969.
  • Madison's Battery Workers, 1934-1952: A History of Federal Labor Union 19587. Ithaca, N.Y.: ILR Press, 1977.
  • Rebuilding the Pulp and Paper Workers' Union, 1933-1941. Knoxville, Tenn.: University of Tennessee Press, 1985.
  • John L. Lewis: Labor Leader. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1988.
  • Organized Labor in the Twentieth-Century South. Knoxville, Tenn.: University of Tennessee Press, 1991.
  • Labor on the March. With Edward Levinson. Ithaca, N.Y.: ILR Press, 1995
  • Southern Labor in Transition, 1940-1995. Robert H. Zieger, ed. Knoxville, Tenn.: University of Tennessee Press, 1997.
  • The CIO, 1935-1955. Reprint ed. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.
  • America's Great War: World War 1 and the American Experience. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2000.
  • American Workers, American Unions: The Twentieth Century. With Gilbert J. Gail. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.
  • For Jobs and Freedom: Race and Labor in America since 1865. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 2007.


  • Who's Who in America. 59th ed. New Providence, N.J.: Marquis Who's Who, 2005.

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