Arthur Winston, a tireless worker
*Arthur Winston was born on this date in 1906. He was an African American custodian and a Los Angeles Metro employee for 72 years.
Born and raised in Oklahoma before it became a state, Winston began picking cotton when he was 10. But several harvests were lost to droughts and storms, forcing the family to head west when he was 12 years old. He graduated from LA's Jefferson High School in 1922. Winston’s hourly salary was 41 cents an hour when he began work for the Pacific Electric Railway Co. in 1924.
One year later he married Frances Smith. The couple had four children and five grandchildren. He stayed with the same company despite the name changes, starting from the Los Angeles Railway that became Los Angeles Transit Lines in 1945, to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority created in 1958; the Southern California Rapid Transit District created in 1964, and as it is known today Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority "Metro" created in 1993.
He attributed his work ethic to his upbringing, declaring that his father taught him the value of hard work at an early age. Upon his retirement on his 100th birthday, he stated that he was planning to visit his 98-year-old brother in Tennessee and had the intention of remaining active in various endeavors.
He has the record as the most reliable worker that the United States Department of Labor has ever chronicled. He worked for 72 years without ever being late, and having only taken off a single day (in 1988 for the funeral of his wife Frances). In 1996, President Bill Clinton awarded him with an "Employee of the Century" citation for his work ethic and dedication.
The Arthur Winston Bus Yard (Division 5 in South Bay) was named in his honor in Los Angeles. Winston died of heart failure in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles on April 13, 2006 less than one month after his retirement.
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