'''James Riddle''' "'''Jimmy'''" '''Hoffa''' (born February 14, 1913 – disappeared July 30, 1975) was an American [[trade union|labor union]] leader and author who served as the President of the [[Teamsters|International Brotherhood of Teamsters]] (IBT) union from 1958 until 1971. In 1964 Hoffa was convicted of misappropriating nearly $2million in union pension funds and was imprisoned in 1967. His sentence was reduced by President Nixon on the proviso that he agree to stay out of union politics until 1980, the full term of his prison sentence. However, Hoffa had no plans to adhere to Nixon's restrictions and he began to make plans to regain his control of the Teamsters. He vanished in late July 1975 at age 62.
Hoffa was a union [[activist]] from a young age, and was an important regional figure with the [[Teamsters|International Brotherhood of Teamsters]] (IBT) union by his mid-twenties. By 1952, Hoffa had risen to national vice-president of the IBT, and served as the union's general president between 1958 and 1971. He secured the first national agreement for teamsters' rates in 1964. Hoffa played a major role in the growth and development of the union which eventually became the largest (by membership) in the United States with over 1.5 million members at its peak, during his terms as its leader. He was a [[civil rights]] supporter and expressed this in many statements.
Hoffa became involved with [[organized crime]] from the early years of his Teamsters work, and this connection continued until his disappearance in 1975. He was convicted of [[jury tampering]], attempted [[bribery]], and [[fraud]] in 1964, in two separate trials. He was imprisoned in 1967 and sentenced to 13 years, after exhausting the appeal process. In mid-1971 he resigned as president of the union, an action that was part of a pardon agreement with President [[Richard Nixon]], to facilitate his release later that year. Nixon blocked Hoffa from union activities until 1980 (which would have been the end of his prison term, had he served the full sentence). Hoffa, hoping to regain support and to return to IBT leadership, unsuccessfully attempted to overturn this order.
Hoffa vanished in late July 1975, having last been seen outside the Machus Red Fox, a suburban Detroit restaurant. He was declared legally dead in 1982. His disappearance gave rise to many theories as to what happened to him.
A collection of papers related to Hoffa is cared for by the Special Collections Research Center of The [[George Washington University]]. The collection contains a variety of materials, including newspaper and magazine articles, trial transcripts, copies of congressional hearings, and publicity materials.
Hoffa's critics say that he enriched himself at the expense of the teamsters. His defenders claim that "dedication as an American labor leader for more than 40 years, as well as his widely recognized accomplishments on behalf of teamsters and all working people in America" should not be forgotten.