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September 2013

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Robert W. McAlwee

We regret to report that former director of the IBEW Journal (now Media) Department, Robert McAlwee, died on July 14. He was 92.

A Washington, D.C., native, Brother McAlwee served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before being initiated into Local 26 in 1948. He served as COPE chairman, press secretary and recording secretary before his election as business manager in 1959.

He served as president of the Washington Building Trades Council and chaired several committees of the Greater Washington Central Labor Council (now Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO).

Active in local job-training efforts, he was one of the founders of "Project Build," a pre-apprenticeship program for minorities and economically distressed youth in the D.C. metro area.

He also served as a member of the National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee and the Council on Industrial Relations.

In 1969 he was appointed to the Journal Department by then-International President Charles Pillard. He served as editor of the IBEW Journal, which at the time was the union's official publication.

In 1971, he was appointed director of the Journal Department. As director he was responsible for publishing the IBEW Journal, serving as official spokesman and overseeing the IBEW library and archives.

In addition to his work at the Journal Department, McAlwee served as convention manager for five International Conventions.

McAlwee retired in 1987.

He studied at Strayer's Business College and the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University.

"He was always friendly and always encouraging," retired Local 26 member Charles Brown wrote on McAlwee's online obituary page. "Never failed to ask 'How are you?'… I was privileged to be able to call him friend and am blessed to have known him."

He is survived by a son, a daughter, six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

The IBEW members, officers and staff send our deepest condolences to Brother McAlwee's family and friends.


Robert W. McAlwee