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UK transit union leader Bob Crow, who battled for members and infuriated commuters, dies at 52

  • Britain Obit Union Leader-1.jpg

    FILE - In this file photo dated Jan. 21, 2013 Bob Crow, general secretary of Rail, Maritime and Transport union speaks in London. Bob Crow, Britain’s best known and most divisive trade union leader, has died age 52, early Tuesday March 11, 2014. (AP Photo/PA, Dominic Lipinski) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE (The Associated Press)

  • Britain Obit Union Leader-2.jpg

    FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2014 file photo, Bob Crow, general secretary of Rail, Maritime and Transport union speaks on his mobile phone in London. Bob Crow, Britain’s best known and most divisive trade union leader, has died age 52, early Tuesday March 11, 2014. (AP Photo/PA, Nick Ansell, File) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE (The Associated Press)

Bob Crow, Britain's best known and most divisive trade union leader, has died at the age of 52.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union said Crow, its general secretary since 2002, died early Tuesday. It did not disclose the cause.

One of the few British union leaders to be a household name and recognizable face, Crow led his union through a series of disruptive strikes on London's busy public transit system.

Critics called him confrontational, and he was a villain to right-wing newspapers, but many union members saw him as a leader who got results.

With his bald head and cloth cap, Crow affected an old-fashioned, working-class demeanor, but he faced criticism for his six-figure salary and subsidized home.