Biography of James A. Grogan, Jr.
International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers
9602 M L King Hwy.
Lanham, MD 20706
President Grogan was born in Mt. Kisco, New York. One of six children, he was raised in Newark, New Jersey.
A long-time resident of Belleville, New Jersey, Brother Grogan began a long and distinguished union career which has spanned more than 50 years, marked by his rise to numerous leadership positions at the local, state, national and international levels.
He started working in September of 1956 as a permit worker, and was initiated into Local Union 32, Newark, New Jersey, February 10, 1959, and after serving in the U.S. Army he returned to Local 32 where he received his mechanic’s card in 1961. In very short order he demonstrated his leadership abilities and was elected as a trustee of his local union in 1962. Two years later he was elected sergeant-at-arms, and in 1965 was elected as the local union’s recording and corresponding secretary while also serving on the negotiating committee.
In 1967 Brother Grogan was elected full-time recording secretary and assistant to the financial secretary. He then was elected to the position of business agent in 1969, followed by his election to the local union’s top leadership position as business manager in 1973.
His demonstrated leadership abilities led to his election in 1975 as president of the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council, a position he held for 14 years. In 1987 delegates to the Asbestos Workers’ General Convention in Philadelphia elected Brother Grogan to the position of International Vice President, representing the
Middle Atlantic States Conference.
In January 1989, following the death of General President Andrew Haas, the union’s General Executive Board unanimously elected Brother Grogan to the position of General Secretary-Treasurer, to fill the vacancy created by the election of William Bernard as General President. He was re-elected to that position at the union’s General Conventions in Toronto, Canada in 1992, and Las Vegas, Nevada in 1997.
At the May 2001 General Executive Board Meeting he was unanimously elected General President, and took office on September 1st of 2001.
President Grogan is also a Vice President of the Building and Construction Trades Department, and serves on the Executive Board of the D.C. Friends of Ireland.
In 1959, the same year he began his union career, he married Elizabeth “Betty” Britton. Together they have raised three sons and a daughter…all living in New Jersey. Still happily married, Jim and Betty Grogan enjoy their six grandchildren.