Jimmy Hoffa

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James Riddle Hoffa was an American trade unionist. Hoffa served as the General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 19581971, despite being incarcerated during the latter four years of his tenure. Hoffa, who had been convicted of jury tampering and attempted bribery in 1964, was imprisoned in 1967 after exhausting the appeal process. However, he did not officially resign the Teamsters' presidency until 1971. This was part of a pardon agreement with U.S. president Richard Nixon, in order to facilitate Hoffa's release from prison. Hoffa was last seen in 1975 outside a suburban Detroit restaurant called the Machus Red Fox. The Teamsters organized truckers and firefighters first throughout the Midwest, and then nationwide across the United States. The union skillfully used "quickie strikes", secondary boycotts, and other means of leveraging union strength at one company, then moved to organize workers, and then win contract demands at other companies. This process, which took several years from the early 1930s, eventually brought the Teamsters to a position of being one of the most powerful unions in the United States. Hoffa played a major role in the growth of the Teamsters union. Hoffa took over the presidency of the Teamsters in 1957, when his predecessor, Dave Beck, was convicted on bribery charges and imprisoned.[citation needed] Hoffa worked to expand the union, and, in 1964, succeeded in bringing virtually all over-the-road truck drivers in North America under a single national master-freight agreement. Hoffa then tried to bring the airline workers and other transport employees into the union. Hoffa was planning to sue to invalidate that non-participation restriction, in order to reassert his power over the Teamsters when he disappeared at, or sometime after, 2:45 pm on July 30, 1975 from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield Township, Oakland County, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. He had been due to meet two Mafia leaders, Anthony Giacolone from Detroit and Anthony Provenzano from Union City, New Jersey and New York City. Provenzano was also a union leader with the Teamsters in New Jersey, who had earlier been quite close to Hoffa. In 1993, authors William Hoffman and Lake Headley released the book Contract Killer: The Explosive Story of the Mafia's Most Notorious Hitman, written with the cooperation of former mobster Donald Frankos, who was also known as "Tony the Greek." Frankos claimed that, during one of those furloughs, he took part in the murder of Hoffa, as part of a hit team consisting of himself, Irish mobster John Sullivan, and James Coonan, the notorious boss of the Westies. In July 2003, convicted killer Richard Powell told authorities that a briefcase containing a syringe used to subdue Hoffa was buried at a house in Hampton Township, Michigan. The FBI searched the backyard of a home formerly frequented by Frank Sheeran, who was a World War II veteran, Mafia hit man, truck driver, Teamsters official, and close friend of Hoffa's. Nothing significant was found. In Philip Carlo's book The Ice Man, written about (and with the cooperation of) convicted contract killer Richard Kuklinski, Kuklinski claimed that he played a large part in the disappearance of Hoffa. He said that he and three other men met Hoffa for lunch at the Machus Red Fox and, when Hoffa got into their van, Kuklinski knocked him out and then put a knife in his head. On May 17, 2006, acting on a tip, the FBI searched a farm in Milford Township, Michigan, for Hoffa's remains. Nothing was found. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

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