Who Was Jimmy Hoffa?

By | May 4, 2019

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Jimmy Hoffa. Source: (history.com)

On July 30, 1975, in Detroit Michigan, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, in what would become one of the most culturally referenced historical mysteries in United States history. Most people have at least heard of Jimmy Hoffa and several of those people know he disappeared, but how many actually know who he was?

Early Life

James Riddle Hoffa was born on February 14, 1913, in Brazil, Indiana. His father, a descendant of German immigrants was a coal miner who died when Hoffa was seven and the family moved to Detroit shortly thereafter. At the age of 14, Hoffa left school and began working as a stock boy in a supermarket chain. At the age of twenty, after several years of poor working conditions, Hoffa organized a labor strike in Detroit.  

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International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Source: (quazoo.com)

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

He quit his job in 1932 and began to rise up the ranks of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. This organization campaigned for workers’ rights through strikes and boycotts, as well a few dodgy manipulations. By 1942, Hoffa had become president of the Michigan Conference of Teamsters. In 1952, he became international vice president and then, in 1957, he was elected International President of the Teamsters, after its former leader went to prison for bribery. Under his leadership, the organization became the largest labor union in the United States.