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- Born in east London, Crow moved to Essex as a toddler and left school at 16
- His first job on London Underground was as an apprentice track worker
- He became a representative for what was then the National Union of Railwaymen aged 20
- He took part in a nationwide day of action in 1980 ordered by the TUC, and the next strike he took part in was on the Tube, the day after returning from his honeymoon in 1982
- He took up his role as general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union in 2002, and led several strikes during his tenure, most recently last month in protest at closure of ticket offices.
He was not afraid of leading his members into industrial action, as he said himself:
The convenor of the RMT parliamentary group, Labour MP John McDonnell, said:
Left-wing Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, a member of the RMT parliamentary group, added:
Bob Crow, who was 52, was one of the most high-profile left-wing union leaders of his generation, and a passionate defender of the rights and working conditions of members of his RMT union.
Never afraid of controversy, he sparked as much anger from passengers hit by rail and Tube strikes as praise from his members for winning pay rises.
He was constantly involved in industrial disputes and campaigns and led a walkout by London Underground workers last month in a dispute over ticket office closures.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“This is shocking news. Bob was an outstanding trade unionist, who tirelessly fought for his members, his industry and the wider trade union movement.
“He was always a good friend and comrade to me. We will miss him, and our thoughts are with his family and the RMT at this difficult time.”
Latest ITV News reports
The trade union movement is in shock after the sudden death of rail union leader Bob Crow, who passed away early this morning aged 52
The RMT leader was demonised by Fleet Street, often loathed by commuters, but adored by his members.