Hoffman, Abbie

(redirected from Abbott Hoffman)

Hoffman, Abbie

(1936–89) radical activist, author; born in Worcester, Mass. After graduating from Brandeis University (1959) and earning a masters in psychology from the University of California: Berkeley (1960), he joined civil rights workers in the South before returning to Worcester to work as a salesman for a pharmaceutical company. He cut his teeth as an activist in Worcester (roughly 1960–66) where he especially assisted minority youth. Moving to New York City (1966), he ran a theater and helped organize "hippies" in the East Village. He came to national prominence as a Yippie leader during the violent antiwar demonstrations—"days of rage"—in Chicago (1968) and the much-publicized Chicago Seven trial (1969). Arrested for possession of cocaine (1973), he went underground (1974) and assumed the name Barry Freed in Fineview, N.Y., where he worked on environmental concerns. Resurfacing on the television show "20/20" (1980), he surrendered to authorities and spent less than a year in prison. He was the author of several books, including Steal this Book and Revolution for the Hell of It. His last public demonstration (1986) was in support of an anti-Central Intelligence Agency protest at the University of Massachusetts: Amherst, along with President Jimmy Carter's daughter, Amy Carter. Evidently in a bout with depression, he committed suicide (1989).