1913 - 1975
James Riddle Hoffa, the former president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, was apparently kidnapped on July 20, 1975, and believed to have been killed some time after that. He was 62 the last time he was seen alive.
Hoffa was born February 14, 1913 in Brazil, Indiana. A tough kid who settled many disputes with his fists, Hoffa became an organizer for the Teamsters in 1934. His aggressive style of leadership soon landed him the Teamsters presidency in 1957, a post he held for ten years until his conviction of jury tampering, fraud and conspiracy that sent him to prison.
Hoffa married Barbara Poszywak in 1936. They had two children, Barbara and James Jr. Several years after his fatherís disappearance, James Jr. continued in his fatherís footsteps by being elected Teamster president.
Trouble began for Hoffa in the 1950ís when federal investigators began looking into allegations that Hoffa was misusing Teamster funds.
In the early 1960ís, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, President Kennedyís brother, pressed for a Hoffa arrest, and in 1964 Hoffa was convicted of jury tampering, and soon after fraud and misuse of pension funds. He was sentenced to a 13-year sentence. When appeals ran out in 1967, Hoffa entered jail at Lewisburg Federal Prison.
President Richard Nixon commuted Hoffaís sentence in December 1971, and Hoffa was released later that month.
Hoffa attempted to get back control of the Teamsters after his release. He also made it no secret about his association with mobsters, an association he said was only good business by knowing whom your enemies were.
On July 30, 1975 Hoffa had a meeting with some of Detroitís mob bosses. He was last seen in the parking lot of a local restaurant.
Federal authorities speculate that Hoffa was killed by mobsters who the feds thought didnít want Hoffa to regain control of the Teamsters.
Hoffa was declared legally dead in 1982.