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Jimmy Hoffa and Me

December 16, 2018

At age 42, my father sold his successful oriental rug and carpet business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and moved us to Miami Florida. My father said he had “retired,” but he went into real estate as a broker and builder. I was delighted to leave Pittsburgh and the public high school where I was “warehoused” and entered the 11th grade at North Miami High School.

Miami, then and today, had a booming economic environment that attracted many seeking employment and fair weather. My classmates came from all over–our graduating class has 1,025 students, and some were bright and ambitious. Keith Barish, founder of Planet Hollywood and later, Jeff Zucker, president of CNN were North Miami grads. Another of my bright classmates, Herb Yates, suggested that we go to the Fontainebleau Hotel and interview Jimmy Hoffa for our school paper. The Teamsters were holding an annual conference and Jimmy Hoffa was presiding.

Somehow Herb Yates got through to Hoffa’s men, and we were escorted into a large conference room by an attractive blond communications person. As we entered, we heard Jimmy Hoffa utter a profanity against David Dubinsky, a rival American labor leader who served as president of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. Hoffa was pleasant to the two of us and answered some questions that I have forgotten, and suddenly Herb Yates and I had our fifteen minutes of fame.

Two high school kids interview the notorious Jimmy Hoffa!

Funny I hadn’t thought of that until I learned today that the FBI file on Hoffa may be released to the public.

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