March 29, 2016
By AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
Washington, DC – We mourn the loss of SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard, and we honor his tremendous leadership built on unwavering dedication to the members he represented. Ken was a unifier, a true professional and a powerful voice for working people. From his roles as Thomas Jefferson to Tip O’Neill to the White Shadow, he leaves an indelible legacy. He will be greatly missed.
As a kid in the 1980s, I first caught Howard's groundbreaking show, "The White Shadow," in reruns. The show was a bold attempt, in 1978, to have a national conversation about race, poverty and a variety of social problems. With a cast that has more diversity than most shows now, "The White Shadow" was unafraid to tackle tough issues and to bridge racial divides that we still face today.
It's hard to imagine being the person I am today without the deep thoughts and study the show inspired in me. And Howard spent the rest of his life fighting on behalf of working people, another pathway down which I later found myself following in Howard's footsteps. Thanks for the inspiration, Ken.