Joe Biden

Statement on the Death of William E. Spriggs

June 07, 2023

I am deeply saddened by the passing of Bill Spriggs, a man who brought as much lasting brilliance to economics as he brought joy to his friends and colleagues. Bill was a towering figure in his field, a trailblazer who challenged the field's basic assumptions about racial discrimination in labor markets, pay equity, and worker empowerment. His work inspired countless economists, some of whom work for our administration, to join him in the pursuit of economic justice. Serving as both the Economics Department chair at Howard University and as chief economist for the AFL-CIO—the first Black American to hold the position—Bill relentlessly fought to ensure that the voices and needs of workers were at the center of economic policymaking. Bill was also a dedicated public servant who held several economic policy positions across the Federal Government spanning two Presidential administrations. Along with these remarkable contributions and achievements, Bill will be missed for his kindness, warmth, and humility.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement on the Death of William E. Spriggs Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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