Robert G. Porter, the secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers, died last week following heart surgery. He was 64.
Mr. Porter, who had held the position since 1963, had planned to retire next year. (See Education Week, Oct. 9, 1991 .)
During his time at the union, its membership grew from 50,000 to 780,000. In recent years, Mr. Porter worked closely with the professional-employees department of the A.F.L.-C.@.O. in an effort to organize more professionals.
He was a member of the A.F.L.-c.@.o.'S operating committee on political education, a delegate to the union's conventions and to Democratic national conventions, and a member of the A.@.w.'S defense committee, established to protect teachers' academic freedom.
Albert Shanker, the president of the A.@.w., said in a statement that Mr. Porter's death was "not only a loss to the A.@.w., but to the trade-union movement in this country."