Lumpkin, Beatrice 1918-

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Lumpkin, Beatrice 1918-


Born August 3, 1918, in New York, NY; daughter of Morris (an owner of a laundry) and Dora (a laundry worker) Shapiro; married Roderick Mohrherr, 1947 (divorced); married Frank Lumpkin (a steelworker), October 22, 1949; children: (first marriage) Carl Joseph, Jeanleah; (second marriage) Paul David, John Robert. Ethnicity: "Russian Jew." Education: Hunter College (now of the City University of New York), B.A., 1939; Northeastern Illinois State College (now Northeastern Illinois University), M.S.T., 1967; Illinois Institute of Technology, M.S., 1974. Politics: "Registered Democrat, Labor Party, and Communist Party USA." Religion: "The golden rule." Hobbies and other interests: Hiking, travel.


Home—Chicago, IL. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer. Factory worker in New York, NY, 1939-41; electronics technician in Buffalo, NY, 1942-54; factory worker in Gary, IN, and Chicago, IL, 1955-56; writer in Chicago, 1957-64; associate professor of mathematics in Chicago, 1987-90. Wisconsin Steelworkers Save Our Jobs Committee, chair of women's committee, 1980-97; Coalition of Labor Union Women, member of national executive board, 1994-2000. Citizen Action of Illinois, member of policy council, 1985-2000.


American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.


Annual award from Citizen Action of Illinois.


Senefar and Hatshepsut: A Novel of Egyptian Genius, illustrated by Peggy Lipschutz, DuSable Museum Press (Chicago, IL), 1983.

Senefer: A Young Genius in Old Egypt (juvenile), illustrated by Linda Nickens, Africa World Press (Trenton, NJ), 1992.

(With Dorothy Strong) Multicultural Science and Math Connections, J. Weston Walch (Portland, ME), 1995.

(With Arthur B. Powell) Math: A Rich Heritage, Globe Fearon (Upper Saddle River, NJ), 1995.

Geometry Activities from Many Cultures, J. Weston Walch (Portland, ME), 1997.

Algebra Activities from Many Cultures, J. Weston Walch (Portland, ME), 1997.

"Always Bring a Crowd!" The Story of Frank Lumpkin, Steelworker, International Publishers (New York, NY), 1999.

Contributor to professional journals.


Beatrice Lumpkin once told CA: "I was at the right place at the right time to witness history being made. Three thousand steelworkers were left jobless and payless by a plant that closed without warning. The workers fought back for seventeen years and won seventeen million dollars. As the wife of the leader who rose from the ranks to organize the fight, I heard and recorded the voices of the workers and spouses. They came together to fight a common cause, overcoming divisions of race, religion, language, and ethnicity. Other books had chapters on these events as seen from the outside. I feared that if I did not write my book, the workers' voices might not be heard.

"My previous experience was in technical writing, a job that I had done for pay and just ‘happened into.’ The type of writing I needed for "Always Bring a Crowd!" The Story of Frank Lumpkin, Steelworker was different, something I needed to learn. First I tried a straightforward account in chronological order. It did not have enough of the human qualities that were the real story. I then decided to tell the story through the medium of a biography, the story of Frank Lumpkin. To the general public, he seemed to have come out of nowhere. In fact, the story of his life, interesting of itself, shows that he was well prepared to lead and stick with the fight until the steelworkers won."