Edward “Corky” Benedict, a cadre of the Spartacist League/U.S. and International Communist League for 43 years, died on 9 June 2020 after years of debilitating illnesses. Our deepest condolences go to his wife and comrade, Robin Hunt Benedict.
Growing up in a working-class family in Amherst, Ohio, Corky served in the Marines and was the first in his family to go to college. Radicalized by the Vietnam War, he joined the street-fighting New Leftists of the SDS/Weatherman group. Soon recognizing the futility of idiotic left-wing terrorism, Corky sought another road. Splitting with the Weathermen in late 1969, he became part of the Cleveland Marxist Caucus. In 1973, he joined the SL, committing himself to forging a revolutionary proletarian party to lead the struggle to uproot the entire system of capitalist imperialism.
For several years Corky was a member of the Militant-Solidarity Caucus, a class-struggle opposition in the National Maritime Union. As head of the maintenance department in our central office, he schooled many members in the importance of being able to work with one’s hands. A well-read Marxist, Corky in many ways embodied the communist goal of a society where the class-derived division between mental and manual labor no longer exists. He was made an alternate member of the SL/U.S. Central Committee in April 1980 and remained on the CC for 35 years.
In the U.S. and internationally, his military training, trade-union experience and maintenance skills made him a key part of our defense teams, interventions into labor battles and party construction projects. Corky could both work and play harder than people half his age, his devilish sense of humor often lubricated by large amounts of alcohol.
In late 2015, Corky’s health problems led him and Robin to move to North Carolina, where they were no longer members. But Corky’s commitment to the ICL’s purpose never wavered.