Jimmy Hoffa may be 95 years old today.
But it’s doubtful. The Teamster tough guy disappeared near Detroit in 1975, aged 62, after a scheduled lunch at the Machus Red Fox restaurant. (“Decorated in an English country, hunt-club motif, rich in red velvet with dimly lit booths,” sez Wikipedia. The Red Fox closed in 1996 and after a $1.5 million clean-up is now called Andiamo Italia.)
Hoffa’s body has never been found. But nobody really bothered to pretend, a la Elvis, that Hoffa might have faked his own death and skipped off to South America. He was declared dead in 1982.
In a rather unlikely twist, Hoffa is now being hailed as a hero of Israeli independence. Turns out he “facilitated” (wink wink) arms shipments to Jewish fighters in the 1940’s and later raised $300,000 for an orphanage in Jersualem. (His son says Hoffa had “a natural affinity for the outsider struggling for empowerment.”)
On the down side, somebody claiming to be Hoffa’s great-nephew has been robbing Pennsylvania banks with the old pointed-finger-in-the-pocket trick.
Happy birthday, Mr. Hoffa, wherever you are.