Author: Jack Conroy

Jack Conroy, Photo courtesy of The Newberry Library, Chicago, Call # MMS Conroy, Box 92, File 2972

Jack Conroy (1898–1990) was a “worker-writer” best known for his contributions—both fiction and nonfiction—about the life of the American worker during the early decades of the twentieth century. Born to Irish immigrants in a coal-mining camp in Moberly, Missouri, Conroy lost his father and a brother in work accidents. As a young man, he worked at different times as a railroad foreman, auto factory worker, construction worker, and secretary for the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of America. His books include The Disinherited and The Weed King and Other Stories.

A Groundhog’s Death

Jack Conroy

Jack Conroy (1898–1990) was a “worker-writer” best known for his contributions—both fiction and nonfiction—about the life of the American worker during the early decades of the 20th century. Born to Irish immigrants in a coal-mining camp in Moberly, Missouri, Conroy lost his father and a brother in work accidents. He drew upon these searing personal experiences in his writing—and in this essay, first published in The New Masses in 1937, which looks at the hazards faced by mine workers.