James P. Hoffa
General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters

James P. Hoffa
A Biography

James P. Hoffa has a mission – to build the Teamsters Union into the strongest, most powerful voice in North America for working families – and he is well on his way to this goal.

Under Hoffa’s leadership, the Teamsters Union is winning industry-leading contracts, engaging in vigorous contract enforcement and organizing the unorganized. Teamster positions on the issues of the day – from unsafe Mexican trucks to misguided trade policies – now hold sway in Washington’s power corridors.

Hoffa has spent a lifetime preparing for the challenge of running the Teamsters Union. He knows, first-hand, what Teamsters can accomplish when they are united. He is determined to lead a Union that is a credit to its proud history.

Hoffa is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on Union issues. As the most visible and outspoken critic of government trade policies and anti-worker corporate agendas, Hoffa is recognized as a leader on issues that affect working people.

Hoffa has also received honors from national organizations including the 2004 Man of the Year award from the D.C. Friends of Ireland, 2001 Man of the Year award from the Bay Area Union Labor Party, the 2001 Labor Initiative Award from the Center for the Disabled and the 2003 Government, Labor, Management Good Scout Award from the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

“We are fighting for the soul of our nation,” says Hoffa. “We must step up the battle for good jobs, fair trade and health care and retirement security. We must fight the corporate anti-worker agenda at every turn with all our might.”


James P. Hoffa grew up on picket lines and in union meetings. He is the only son of James R. Hoffa, former General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. On his 18th birthday, Hoffa received his own union card and was sworn in by his father. Prior to becoming Administrative Assistant to Michigan Joint Council 43, Hoffa was a labor lawyer in Detroit for 25 years.


1960’s: Teamster laborer in Detroit and Alaska, loading and unloading freight from ships, driving trucks and buses, and operating heavy equipment.

1968-93: Teamster attorney representing members in workers compensation cases, Social Security, and personal legal matters; represented Teamster Joint Councils and local unions.

1993-98: Administrative Assistant to the President of Michigan Joint Council 43

1999-Present: General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters


• 2004 Friends of Ireland Man of the Year
• Member of the President’s Council on the 21st Century Workforce
• 2003 Government, Labor, Management Good Scout Award, National Capital Area Council (NCAC) of the Boy Scouts of America
• 2001 Irish-American Labor Coalition Honoree
• 2001 Labor Initiative Award, Center for the Disabled
• 2001 Man of the Year, Bay Area Union Labor Party


Born: May 19, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan

1963: Degree in Economics, Michigan State University

1966: LLB Law Degree, University of Michigan

Family: Parents – Josephine and James R. Hoffa; Sister – Barbara Hoffa Crancer, attorney and Circuit Judge in St. Louis, MO; Wife – Virginia Harris Hoffa, former teacher and licensed veterinary technician; Children – David and Geoffrey.


• Organize the unorganized;
• Protect worker pensions and retirement security;
• Negotiate industry-leading contracts;
• Lead the fight for universal health care;
• Continue fiscal reform and budgetary accountability;
• Promote Fair Trade Agreements that encourage job growth in the United States;
• Fight for labor law reform;
• Demand stricter health and safety regulations.

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