Jimmy Hoffa

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Jimmy Hoffa
James Riddle Hoffa
BirthplaceBrazil, Indiana, United States
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.


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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Fox also met with Teamster leader James Hoffa to discuss the current trucking dispute between the two countries and the possibility of the Teamsters organizing labor in Mexico.
Without the iron hand of the federal governinent to bring order out of the imagined chaos of trucking in the '30s, the Teamsters never would have been able to achieve a nationwide contract; organized crime would have had to find different sources of funding for its Las Vegas investments; Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa wouldn't have spent the late '50s and early '60s fighting off the Kennedy brothers; and James Hoffa Jr.
For the moment, the outcome has been the state-engineered cancellation of the 1996 Teamster elections, the expulsion of reformist, militant UPS strike leader, anti-NAFTA president Ron Carey, and the coming to power of James Hoffa jr., the candidate of the union's "old guard." The American government's campaign against union corruption launched in the 1950s with the Landrum-Griffin Act (Labor-Management Reporting & Disclosure Act)--the legal basis for today's receivership--has thus followed its course, and in the end the union has come full circle.
The union presidents were James Hoffa, Arthur Coia, Frank Hanley and Martin Maddaloni.
Most predicted the union would quickly fall back into the hands of the mobbed-up Old Guard, personified by James Hoffa, Jr.
The Teamsters union national president, James Hoffa, whose father, Jimmy Hoffa, was one of the nation's most famous labor leaders until he disappeared in 1975 in Michigan, denounced Republican leaders in a speech to the protesters.
Jindel added that this agreement is indicative of how the Teamsters under President James Hoffa have shown a little more of a business-friendly approach to labor contract.
"The American people have spoken, and Congress has spoken," said Teamsters General President James Hoffa. "Now it's time for the Bush administration to listen.
This year, Rott Gettelfinger and James Hoffa gave keynote addresses, making the first time in 20 years labor leaders were an integral part of the conference.
Teamsters are currently headed by James Hoffa, son of the man who disappeared 31 years ago and whose body has never been found.
The Teamsters saw a hot race for the international presidency in 1996, with archetypal business unionist James Hoffa Jr.