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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 29, 1997


Hillary and I were deeply saddened today to learn of the death of American Federation of Government Employees National President John N. Sturdivant.

For more than 30 years, John played a vital role in the success of the American trade union movement. A born organizer, his determination, leadership and commitment were central ingredients to the growth of AGFE - the largest government employee union.

A champion of labor-management partnerships, he played an important and highly visible role in our initiative to reinvent government. He was a true hero of the reinvention process and his efforts contributed in a great measure to a government that really works for all citizens.

I saw his commitment to federal employees first-hand when we worked together during the Oklahoma City tragedy. He was a man who considered every government worker -- AGFE member or not -- his sister or brother. His vision and creative leadership in improving the safety and security for all federal employees at work will be just one of his legacies.

But another legacy will be his tenacity and strength -- which he clearly demonstrated during the government shutdowns in 1995. These events were truly defining moments for John and his union. His leadership was an inspiration to all of us and I was very proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with him in this fight.

Today our thoughts will be with his daughter Michelle, his family and the men and women he served with such distinction.