Alexander Berkman (1870-1936)
The youngest of four children, Berkman was born in Vilna, Russia, to a prosperous family. Attracted to radical ideas as a youth in St. Petersburg, he was expelled from school after submitting an atheistic essay to his instructors. Berkman came to the United States in 1887 and settled in New York City. He was a well-known anarchist leader in the United States and life-long friend of Emma Goldman. His dramatic attempt on the life of Henry Clay Frick is considered the event that broke the back of resistance to the striking workers' demands, although it led to his imprisonment, a penalty he served for over twenty years. Among his numerous agitational writings the best-known of his books are Prison Memoirs, and The Bolshevik Myth. He died as the result of a suicide attempt induced by illness and poverty. (Irving Horowitz, The Anarchists, 1964, Dell Pub.)