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David Michaelson was born in Edinburgh in 1912, but came to London in his teens. There, he took up employment in the engineering industry and joined the Communist Party. He was Amalgamated Engineering union (AEU) shop stewards' convenor at the Lagonda Works, Staines, which was engaged on munitions work during the Second World War. At this time he became a member of the Engineering and Chairman of the National Shop Stewards National Council, contributing to its official organ, The New Propellor (later re-titled The Metal Worker).
Michaelson was also Vice President of Hendon Trades Council. An activist in the forefront of the shop stewards' movement, Michaelson became editor of The Metal Worker in 1953, remaining in that capacity until it ceased publication in 1963. Michaelson lived in Hendon, North West London and stood for Parliament as the Communist candidate for West Willesden in 1950 securing 938 votes. Michaelson was the author of numerous short stories and poems, leaving many unfinished drafts at his death in 1975; his papers are in the Modern Records Centre at Warwick University.