James Riddle Hoffa disappeared somewhere in Detroit on July the 31st, 1975 – at the time he was considered one the most influential, and powerful, American labor leaders of the 20th century.
What happened to this popular figure?
Did he meet an untimely end and if so – where is Jimmy Hoffa buried?
Hoffa was born into a very poor coal mining family from Indiana in 1913 – but lack of money never really managed to hold him back…
At the tender age of 20 he started to exhibit strong leadership qualities when he led a labor strike in Detroit. He remained an advocate for mistreated workers for the remainder of his working life.
After these initial strikes and demonstrations, the Teamsters took note of his strong charisma and leadership – they took him on and he rose through their ranks with ease.
At the time, the Teamsters were still a relatively new movement. They were known for collecting trucker contracts through the use of strikes and boycotts.
They were also suspected of using ‘less legal’ techniques to achieve the goals of their workforce.
The Top of The Ladder
In 1957, Hoffa took up the post of president of the Teamsters due to their previous leader being collared for bribery charges.
Within months of taking up the post – he was near enough a celebrity.
He was well known for his caring and approachable manner, he displayed unflagging devotion to the workers below him, not matter what their level.
He became well known for his famous quote…
“You got a problem? Call me. Just pick up the phone.”
The Dark Side
On the outside, Hoffa seemed like a dream leader – caring, dedicated, electrifying and effective…but he also had a dark side.
Hoffa and his Teamster associates were known for mixing with high level mafia members – they were linked to numerous cases of racketeering, extortion and embezzlement.
The American government decided that enough was enough during the early 60’s, and Hoffa was consequently the subject of several government investigations.
His luck seemed to run out in 1967 when he was caught out on a bribery charge. At the end of his trial he was sentenced to 13 years behind bars.
Richard Nixon eventually commuted Hoffa’s sentence in 1971, but his release came with a strong condition – he was not allowed to take part in any sort of union activity for a decade.
Hoffa decided to take this restriction to court, and fight his corner, when he disappeared suddenly in Detroit.
Many believe that he disappeared from a local restaurant car park – a stone’s throw away from where he started his successful journey as a labor organizer.
What happened to Jimmy Hoffa?
Were the links he had to the mafia just too strong?
Did he stumble upon information that was not meant for him?
The truth remains unknown.