Leon J. Davis, Polish-born US labor leader, November 26, 1906, Obecz, Poland - September 14, 1992, New Hyde Park, New York.
At the age of 15 he settled with his Russian-speaking family in Hartford, Connecticut where he attended public schools and learned English. In 1927 his family moved to New York City. After two years at Columbia University's pharmacy school, he left to become a drug store clerk.
In 1932 he founded Local 1199 of the Drug, Hospital, and Health Care Employees Union. In fifty years as the head of the union, he built it into a powerful national and progressive force. Martin Luther King referred to Davis's organization as "my favorite union".
Two books about the union, "Upheaval in the Quiet Zone" and "Not for Bread Alone" examine the deep, almost patriarchal connection between Davis and Local 1199.
A Manhattan city block on West 43rd Street was named in his honor.