Simpson, James

James Simpson, printer, journalist, trade unionist (b at Lindal-in-Furness, Eng 14 Dec 1873; d at Toronto 24 Sept 1938). In the 1890s Simpson rose quickly from printer's "devil" to a career as a journalist for the Toronto Star. At the turn of the century he moved into prominence as a leader in his own printers' union, as vice-president of the Toronto and District Trades and Labor Council, and later as manager of the Labor Temple. He served 3 terms as vice-president of the TRADES AND LABOR CONGRESS OF CANADA (1904-9, 1916-17, 1924-36). He was on a federal royal commission on technical education in 1910 and was a delegate to the International Labour Organization in the 1920s and 1930s. A committed socialist, he stood as a candidate for early socialist organizations and contributed to the socialist press as writer and editor. He served as a Toronto school-board trustee (1905-10) and controller (1914 and 1930-34) and as Toronto's first labour mayor (1935). For more than 30 years Simpson remained one of Canada's best-known labour radicals.