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Robert Vaughn, dead at 82, with wife formed a formidable ‘labor team’

by maureen o'donnell - chicago sun-times  |  09/29/2017

When Chicago Teachers Union president Jacqueline Vaughn was getting ready for grueling contract negotiations, Robert Vaughn, her husband and a top labor official himself, would cook a breakfast of grits, bacon and eggs — food to fuel her for an all-nighter.

And so she’d have one less thing to worry about, he’d go to the garage and wash her car, too.

Mr. Vaughn — a former meat-cutter who rose to be president of Local 546 of the United Food and Commercial Workers as well as a vice president of the international union in Washington, D.C. — was proud of his wife, the first woman and first African-American to head the teachers union.

“He had his career, but he was always willing to lift up Mom in her endeavors,” said his stepson Karl T. Wright. “They were a labor team.’’

Mr. Vaughn, 82, died of heart problems Aug. 26 at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center on the South Side, according to his stepson.

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