Jules Pagano, Progressive Champion. RIP

It is with deep sadness that I share the news of Jules Pagano’s passing. Jules lived his entire life in service.

Generations of labor leaders knew and admired him as both an intellectual force in championing public policies for economic justice and as an unabashed advocate for workers.

Jules effected change. He applied his Doctorate in Public Administration in numerous forums earning deference as an academic and activist.

His early celebrated accomplishments include: Chief Judge for the New York Unemployment Appeals Board; Director of Training for the Peace Corps; Provost, President and Vice President of numerous public universities; Education Director to CWA; and 20 years as Executive Director for the AIL/NILICO Labor Advisory Board.

Jules served with an indomitable passion to make our world a better place. As Executive Director of the LAB, Jules was bold and unwavering in his commitment to build a visible, viable, Labor Advisory Board, growing the board from its original 15 members to more than 50. His political acumen and resolute devotion to progressive causes and progressive politics has served all of us at AIL/NILICO.

The foundation laid by Jules Pagano is the underpinning of the respect and acknowledgement we currently enjoy with organized labor. Jules was well respected, a trusted confidant to International Union presidents, a sounding board for numerous Secretaries of Labor and a compassionate colleague to many prominent individuals who held working families in their care. He was esteemed as a lifetime champion for workers.

At heart, Jules was a fervent, caring, loving family man who embraced life with an incomparable zest. Jules did not know a stranger.

I will always remember his warm and infectious greetings, his exuberant “Hey, hey, hey,” his candor and humor, and his trademark hats.

Please remember his loving family. A memorial service will be scheduled in Washington DC in the next month.

The world is a bit dimmer with his passing. Jules, you are already missed.

Roger Smith is the President & CEO of American Income Life

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