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Anthony Capraro papers

Identifier: IHRC408


Papers (1896-1975) of Anthony Capraro (1891-1975), an Italian American labor organizer, contain correspondence; photographs; and articles.


  • 1896-1975


Language of Materials

Italian and English


Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


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Biographical / Historical

Born in Sciacca, Sicily, on Jan. 11, 1891, Anthony (Nino) Capraro was the son of a wine and leather merchant. He came to the United States as a child, settling with his family in New York in 1902.

As a teen-ager Capraro joined a group of Italian-American anarchists inspired by Enrico Malatesta. Among his friends were the journalist Carlo Tresca whose murder in 1942 in New York is still unsolved, and the poet Arturo Giovannitti. Both were anarchists.

Arrested in 1908 in connection with his political activities, Capraro spent three years in the jails of New York State. After his release, he became one of the major organizers of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and a collaborator of Sidney Hillman and August Bellanca.

While directing the 1919 strike of textile workers in Lawrence, Capraro was kidnapped and beaten. At that time he was also a correspondent for the New York Call, a Socialist daily newspaper. Later he edited his own newspaper, Utopia, in Rochester, N.Y.

During the 1920s, he was active in the effort to save the lives of Sacco and Vanzetti.

He became a spokesman for antifascism among Italian-Americans and helped Italian exiles who came to the United States. As an arbiter in labor disputes, he founded the Greater Clothing Contractors Association in New York City in 1932.

Upon his retirement in 1953, Capraro devoted himself to the study of Cervantes. He had lived in Northampton, Massachusetts for 10 years. Anthony Capraro died in 1975.

Max Salvadori, professor of history at Smith College, described Capraro as “one of the most effective organizers among Italian-Americans in the labor movement." He said his friendship with Capraro dated back to 1938, when Salvadori first visited the United States.


26 Linear Feet

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired from Mrs. Marie Capraro (and family) of Northampton, Massachusetts, by Prof. Rudolph J. Vecoli.

Inventory of the Anthony Capraro papers.
IHRC Archives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding Aid in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area