Born in Florida and with early aspirations as a writer, his plans were changed after moving to New York and seeing the working conditions of African Americans. In 1925, he helped organize the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first African American union in the country. Following an 11-year conflict between the union and the Pullman Car Company, Randolph emerged as one of the most powerful African Americans in the United States. Higher wages and better working conditions were two issues he attacked throughout his career. In 1963, he helped organize the famous march on Washington where the Rev. Martin Luther King delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech.