Jimmy Hoffa, His Life and Disappearance

Advanced Writing per. 4

In his prime Jimmy Hoffa was one of the most influential men in the United States. From his very beginning his existence was threatened. He had a very traumatic childhood. His adult life was even more zestful than was his childhood.(Friedman 124) His sudden disappearance has remained a mystery to everyone for years. This mystery must be reexamined and ultimately solved . What happened to James R. Hoffa, and why did it happen? These questions are only a few of the many that must be answered to solve this puzzling mystery.
Before expanding on the disappearance itself, one should know who was it that disappeared. "Jimmy Hoffa was the son of an unsuccessful coal prospector in the small town of Brazil, Indiana, who died when Hoffa was only four."(124) "Hoffa hauled laundry home in a wagon for his mother to wash, chopped and sold wood, and scraped mussel shells of the bottom of the Wabash River to sell by the ton to button makers. When his mother moved the family to Detroit , six years after her husband\'s death, Jimmy hauled ashes and passed out leaflets for patent medicines at factory gates. He quit school at fourteen in the middle of his seventh grade year, to work full time."(133) During Hoffa\'s childhood he was asked to give up his boyish ways and become the man of the house. His years as a teenager were also charged with a special kind of radiant energy. At the youthful age of seventeen Hoffa was unloading boxcars at the Kroger grocery chain warehouse in Detroit for thirty-two cents an hour. It was there that he organized his first labor strike (Franco 150). It is risks like that one that led Hoffa to becoming such a powerful figure in America. Hoffa married at a young age and had two children, Barbara and James Jr..
While Hoffa was always a hard worker, he wasn\'t always the type of man that you would like to call your friend. He wasn\'t always on the side of the law that is accepted by society. ". . . it is true that Hoffa used the thugs to climb to the top . . ."(Brill 84). Hoffa used the underworld to obtain power, he also shared in their crimes. He made thousands of dollars in extortion schemes that bled innocent businessmen of all they had. He had set his wife up, under her maiden name, in a truck leasing company that received business from trucking companies eager to get Hoffa to go easy on the wages they had to pay their Teamsters drivers. He had bribed members of Congress with 5 or more hundred dollar bills stuffed into a hand delivered copy of the Teamsters monthly magazine. He had siphoned off millions from Teamsters\' pension funds to make fraudulent loans to the mob. He had been convicted of mail fraud for conspiring to take money from the Central States Pension Fund to bail him out of a failing land contract. He had been convicted of jury tampering. On March 7th 1967 his last attempt for appeal was denied in a Tennessee jury tampering conviction. He had, according to one lawyer involved in the case, succeeded in " tunneling his way into jail". He had converted a relatively minor misdemeanor charge of "taking money from his employer" and turned it into a felony conviction for tampering with the jury in the that case. Consequently, Hoffa was never convicted of the misdemeanor charge.
On his journey to the top Hoffa also made many enemies. One such enemy was the famed politician Robert Kennedy. One particularly intriguing encounter between these two men occurred in March of 1957. Hoffa was arrested for attempting to bribe a lawyer, John Cheasty, to become a member of the McClellan Committee staff and obtain confidential committee memorandums for him(Brill 201). The McClellan Committee was investigating the corruption and inept administration in the handling of employee benefit plans in America\'s labor Unions(Internet). When Cheasty went to Robert Kennedy and told him of the offer, Kennedy arranged for the FBI to take pictures of Cheasty at street-corner meetings as he passed government documents to Hoffa in return for cash(Brill 202). With incriminating evidence such as photos of the crime