James Riddle Hoffa (born February 14, 1913; disappeared July 30, 1975, declared dead July 30, 1982) was an American labor union leader who served as the President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) union from 1957 until 1971.
From an early age, Hoffa was a union activist and became an important regional figure with the IBT by his mid-20s.
By 1952, he was national vice-president of the IBT and was its general president between 1957 and 1971.
He secured the first national agreement for teamsters' rates in 1964 with the National Master Freight Agreement.
He 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 2.3 million members at its peak, during his terms as its leader.
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.
In mid-1971, he resigned as president of the union as part of a commutation agreement with President Richard Nixon, and he was released later that year, although he was barred from union activities until 1980.
Hoffa, hoping to regain support and to return to IBT leadership, unsuccessfully attempted to overturn the order.
Hoffa vanished in late July 1975; his body was never found.