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Who was Cesar Chavez?

A BUST of the civil and labor rights leader Cesar Chavez has been spotted perched on a desk behind Joe Biden in the Oval Office.

It was seen as the new president signed executive orders about the pandemic, which has been so brutal to the farm workers Chavez championed throughout his life.

Read our Inauguration Day 2021 live blog for the very latest news and updates on Joe Biden's swearing-in and Donald Trump's exit...

Who was Cesar Chavez?

Cesar Chavez was the co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) which was formed in 1962.

He was born in Arizona on March 31, 1927 and grew up in a family of Mexican-American descent.

After his parents lost their farm during the Great Depression, the family moved to California, where they became migrant workers.

They then lived in a succession of migrant camps and Chavez attended school sporadically.

After two years in the U.S. Navy - during World War II - Chavez returned to migrant farm work in Arizona and California.

What was Cesar Chavez known for?

In September 1965 he began leading what became a five-year strike by grape pickers and a nationwide boycott of California grapes which attracted liberal support throughout the country.

Subsequent battles with lettuce growers, table-grape growers, and other agribusinesses ended with the signing of long campaigned for bargaining agreements.

In 1966 the NFWA merged with an American Federation of Labor–Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) group to form the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee.

In 1971 this organization became the United Farm Workers (UFW).

Cesar was willing to sacrifice his own life for his long-standing beliefs and fasted many times.

In 1968 he went on a water only, 25 day fast. He repeated the fast in 1972 for 24 days, and again in 1988, this time for 36 days.

In recognition of his non-violent activism and support of working people, Chavez was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994. His wife, Helen, accepted the award.

Why did Joe Biden put a bust of labor leader Cesar Chavez in the Oval Office?

The bust, which had been at the Cesar Chavez National Monument in California, was sent to Washington at the request of the White House, according to the Cesar Chavez Foundation.

The foundation said it had never before been in the Oval Office.

"Placing a bust of my father in the Oval Office symbolizes the hopeful new day that is dawning for our nation," Chavez's son Paul Chavez, president of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, said in a statement.

"That isn't just because it honors my dad, but more importantly because it represents faith and empowerment for an entire people on whose behalf he fought and sacrificed."

One of Biden's White House officials, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations, is Chavez's granddaughter.

How did Cesar Chavez die?

Cesar Estrada Chavez died in his sleep on April 23, 1993 near Yuma, Arizona.

He passed away just a short distance from the small family farm in the Gila River Valley where he was born more than 66 years before.

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