Born in 1912, he joined the African National Congress in 1936. As an organiser for the Congress of the People and organising secretary of the African Textile Workers' Union, Goodman was elected to the Natal executive committees of the ANC in 1955 and of the South African Congress of Trade Unions in 1956.

He was one of the accused in the Treason trial from December 1956 until charges against him were dropped in December 1957.

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