Hardesty died Sunday of complications from treatment of leukemia, said the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, where he was recently a consultant.
"Rex had a great rapport with reporters because he was a journalist himself," said Rudy Oswald, the AFL-CIO's former director of research.
Hardesty, who once studied to be a Roman Catholic priest, moved here in 1967 to work as a sports writer at The Washington Star. He joined the AFL-CIO in 1969 as an associate editor of the American Federationist, a monthly journal. He later became assistant director of public information in 1981 and director of information in 1987 under then-President Lane Kirkland.
Organized labor had a host of disputes in the 1980s, during the eight years of the Reagan administration. It was during that time that President Reagan fired some 11,500 air traffic controllers for striking against the Federal Aviation Administration.
A funeral Mass will be held Thursday for Hardesty, who is survived by his wife, Theresa, and three children from a previous marriage.
By: (AP) Rex Hardesty, a onetime sports editor at the Tulsa World who became the chief spokesman for the AFL-CIO in the 1980s, is dead at 67.