Jimmy Hoffa

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Jimmy Hoffa
James Riddle Hoffa
Birthday
BirthplaceBrazil, Indiana, United States
Occupation
Labor union leader, author

Hoffa, Jimmy

(James Riddle Hoffa) (hôf`ə), 1913–75?, U.S. labor leader, b. Brazil, Indiana. As a young warehouseman he organized (1932) a union that was admitted two years later into the Teamsters UnionTeamsters Union,
U.S. labor union formed in 1903 by the amalgamation of the Team Drivers International Union and the Teamsters National Union. Its full name is the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, and Helpers of America (IBT).
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. Hoffa rose swiftly in the Teamsters, in 1952 becoming international vice president and in 1957 succeeding Dave Beck as president. Evidence of corruption in the union revealed by a Senate investigating committee in 1957 led to the expulsion from the American Federation of Labor–Congress of Industrial Organizations of the Teamsters, which had been the federation's largest affiliate. Moreover, Hoffa was forced to accept a board of monitors to supervise his activities as Teamsters president.

Despite efforts from outside the union to remove him, Hoffa was reelected president by acclamation in 1961. In 1962 a federal grand jury indicted him for accepting illegal payments from a Detroit trucking company; the case ended in a mistrial. Hoffa's power continued to grow, and by 1964 he was able to effect the trucking industry's first national contract. In the same year, however, he was convicted of jury tampering and of fraud in handling the union benefits fund, and was sentenced to a 13-year prison term. After all appeals had been exhausted, Hoffa began (1967) serving his sentence, but he retained the Teamster presidency until 1971, when he resigned. In the same year, President Nixon commuted Hoffa's sentence, with the parole provision that he not engage in union activity until 1980. After his release, Hoffa promoted prison reform. He disappeared in 1975 and is widely assumed to have been murdered.

Bibliography

See his autobiography, The Trials of Jimmy Hoffa (1970); W. Sheridan, The Fall and Rise of Jimmy Hoffa (1972); D. Moldea, The Hoffa Wars (1978); T. Russell, Out of the Jungle: Jimmy Hoffa and the Remaking of the American Working Class (2001).

His son, James Philip Hoffa, 1941–, b. Detroit, is a labor lawyer. He was narrowly defeated when he ran for the Teamster's presidency in 1996 but won the post in a 1998 contest and was reelected in 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016..

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Hoffa, (James Riddle) Jimmy

(1913–?1975) labor leader; born in Brazil, Ind. He became an organizer for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) in 1934, rising rapidly through the union's ranks. He was elected IBT president in 1957 and gained notoriety for his aggressive tactics against all who opposed him, both inside and outside the labor movement. Target of a 1957 U.S. Senate investigation into union corruption, he was later convicted of jury tampering, fraud, and conspiracy, and sent to prison in 1967. His sentence was commuted in 1971, and he was rumored to be trying to regain power within the IBT when in 1975 he disappeared. Rumors as to how he died continued to surface but his body was never found.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.