George Phillip Lambert, labor union organizer and political activist, son of Orin Kelly and Julia (Lee) Lambert, was born at Bluefield, Virginia, on August 31, 1913. While attending the University of West Virginia and later Guilford College in North Carolina, he became interested in both the labor movement and the Socialist party, and never completed his degree. In 1936 he became campaign manager for Kate Stockton, the Socialist party candidate for governor of Tennessee. He was asked by Carl Brannin, the Socialist gubernatorial candidate in Texas in 1936, to help organize the party in the rural communities. As Lambert worked to organize the Texas Socialist party, he also helped to organize several labor unions in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. In 1938 he helped organize the pecan-shellers' strike against Julius Seligmann, the "Pecan King of San Antonio." During this strike Lambert married Latane Bartlett of Greensboro, North Carolina, in a pecan-shelling shack on April 9, 1938. After the strike concluded the Lamberts moved to Waco, where they both worked for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Lambert also organized CIO unions in Texas and Arkansas during this time. His career with the ACWA continued until 1952, with a brief interruption for service in the United States Army from 1941 until August 1946; he was honorably discharged, having achieved the rank of sergeant. Lambert went to work for the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union in San Antonio in 1957. He began as a business agent and became director of the Texas district in 1960. He resigned as Texas director in Dallas in 1963 but continued in the capacity of field representative, working throughout the southwest region until his death. In the 1950s he became active in the Democratic party in Texas. He served as executive director for Americans for Democratic Action as well as participating in the Democratic organizing committee and the Democratic executive committee of Dallas County. Lambert died in Dallas of a heart attack on August 14, 1974, and was survived by his widow and three sons. After his death his wife donated his papers to the University of Texas at Arlington.
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George and Latane Lambert Collection, Texas Labor Archives, University of Texas at Arlington.
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Lambert, George Phillip,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 20, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
March 1, 1995
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: