Kenneth Fiester, 70, a founder and past president of the International Labor Press Association and a retired publications director of the AFL-CIO industrial union department, died Sunday at the Doctors' Hospital of Prince George's County after a stroke. He lived in Bowie.
He helped found the ILPA in 1955 while serving as publications editor and public relations director of the old Textile Workers Union of America in New York. In 1957, he moved to Detroit as publications director of the United Auto Workers and was the first editor of its publication, "Solidarity."
Mr. Fiester came to Washington in 1959 when he joined the AFL-CIO public relations staff. He was publications director of the industrial union department when he retired in the early 1970s. He was ILPA secretary-treasurer from 1961 to 1969 and its president from 1969 to 1971.
Since the early 1970s, he had been a freelance writer-editor for various labor publications and also had helped edit a newsletter published by the U.S. Labor Department.
He was a lifetime member of the NAACP and a member of the National Press Club.
Mr. Fiester was born in Orange, N.J., and was a graduate of the Newark College of Engineering. Between 1936 and 1946, he was a reporter with the old Newark (N.J.) Sunday Call. He served as president of the Newark local of The Newspaper Guild from 1940 to 1942 and again from 1944 to 1946.
He became editor of "Textile Labor," the publication of the Textile Workers, in 1947.
Survivors include his wife, Marion, and two sons, Kenneth and Robert, all of Bowie; a daughter, Gloria Gleeson of Gaithersburg; two stepbrothers, Norman Cramp of Florida, and Robert Cramp of Richmond; and five grandchildren.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 1125 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20005.