Hal C. Banks

Male, Deceased Person

1909 – 1985


Who was Hal C. Banks?

Harold Chamberlain "Hal" Banks from Waterloo, Iowa was a controversial labour union leader in Canada. An American with mob connections, he came to Canada in 1949 to help bust purportedly Communist-controlled shipping unions and establish the Seafarers International Union as their replacement.

He remained in Canada until 1964, when he returned to the United States rather than face criminal charges stemming from a physical assault on a rival union leader. The Pearson government took control of the union and pressed charges against him. The Canadian government filed an extradition request, which was refused by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.

In 1985, Canadian documentary filmmaker Donald Brittain made a film about Banks, Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks. Maury Chaykin played Banks in historical reenactments. A 1988 book by Canadian author Peter Edwards, "Waterfront Warlord" corrected several errors in the film, including the implication that Banks had his nemesis John Droeger killed.

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Feb 28, 1909
Also known as
  • Hal Banks
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • Iowa
Sep 24, 1985

on July 23, 2013


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