Gerald Cook was born in St. Louis, Missouri on April 30, 1916 to Catherine and James Cook. He was self educated and was never graduated from high school. As a young man, he moved to New York City and was active in organizing unions, specifically the Department Store Workers union. While on a picket line, he met his first wife, Anne Freedman. They married before he left for Spain to fight in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. When he returned from Spain, he shipped out to fight the fascists in WWII. He served both on the European front and in the Pacific front. After the war, his first child, Catherine Anne Cook, was born inh 1947. A few years later Gerald and Anne divorced and Gerald married Joan Riddell Barlow, a journalist. They remained married until Jerry did in 1980. They had two children, Joseph Fitzgerald Cook (b. 1952) and Jezebel Cook (b. 1959). He also raised a step-son, John Barlow (b. 1946). Jerry is survived by his two daughters, his step-son and four grandchildren, Alexandra Barlow, Thomas Barlow, James Barlow and Caleb Cook. For most of his post soldier life, Jerry was a journalist, working on various publications. He also worked for local 1199, editing their newsletter. He also worked for the Daily World. He never stopped being an activist and fought all his life for peace and justice. He died firmly believing in his Marxist principles of dialectical materialism.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Who's Who In Knickerbocker Village History: Gerald Cook
from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade archives