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Peter Benzoni

March 19, 2002

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - Peter Benzoni, who helped build the powerhouse United Steelworkers Union, died Friday. He was 87.

Benzoni followed his father, an Italian immigrant, into mining after attending high school in Hurley, Wis. He became interested in the growing steelworkers' union before he was drafted into the Army in 1941.

After World War II, Benzoni returned to the labor movement, organizing membership drives in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In 1971, he became district director of the United Steelworkers Union, Area 33. He served on the union's board of directors until his retirement in 1977.

During President Richard Nixon's tenure, Benzoni was appointed to a national health and safety committee for miners. He also helped bring the University of Minnesota's medical school to Duluth and served on the board of the College of St. Scholastica.

His autobiography called ``Beyond the Mine,'' will be published this spring, his son said.

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