Former ’60s Radical Abbie Hoffman Found Dead With AM-Hoffman, Bjt
NEW HOPE, Pa. (AP) _ Abbie Hoffman, the 1960s radical who lived a life of tumult and uproar, died peacefully in his bed, his landlord said Thursday. He was 52.
Michael Waldron, who rented an apartment in a 400-foot-long converted turkey shed to Hoffman, said he had been busy with projects and concerned about the environment in his last few weeks.
″I saw him every day. He was always writing, working, cooking all types of French meals. He was an excellent chef. He came here to write and relax, and he liked to go out and take walks in the neighborhood,″ Waldron said.
″He always was up and ready to conquer the world.″
An autopsy Thursday on Hoffman was inconclusive and toxicological tests were scheduled Friday, authorities said.
District Attorney Alan M. Rubenstein examined Hoffman’s apartment and said it was ″immaculate,″ with no sign of drugs. His living room was filled with electronic equipment, including computers and telephone answering machines.
Waldron discovered Hoffman’s fully dressed body under the covers of his bed after Hoffman’s common-law wife, Joanna Lawrenson, called Wednesday from her apartment in New York City and said he wasn’t answering his telephone.
″I went to his front door. I banged on the door, and then on the windows. I went around the back and looked in a window, and I was able to see him lying on the bed,″ Waldron said.
″I kept banging and he wasn’t responding, and I figured that something must be wrong, that he was having problems. I went back to my house and got my key and opened the door, and I found him, dead in bed, looking peaceful and comfortable,″ Waldron said.
Hoffman, a good horseman, had been planning to buy a horse and was working on two books when he died, Waldron said. Hoffman had written such books as ″Revolution for the Hell of It″ and ″Steal This Book.″
Hoffman was very upset about the recent oil spill in Alaska, and he talked about organizing a boycott of Exxon, Waldron said.
Jack Hoffman, 49, of Framingham, Mass., borrowed his brother’s words to praise his iconoclastic life.
″Abbie would probably like to be remembered in these, his own words: ‘There is absolutely no greater high than challenging the power structure as a nobody, giving it your all and winning.’
″Abbie Hoffman ridiculed the powerful and defended the powerless. He was a true American hero, patriot and dissident. We live in a freer society today because of him. Abbie Hoffman changed the world.″
Hoffman rose to prominence with the Chicago Seven, a group of radicals who stood trial on charges of conspiring to disrupt the bloody 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He was acquitted of conspiracy and a conviction of crossing state lines with intent to riot was overturned.
He also founded the loosely organized Yippie movement, or Youth International Party, in 1968 to bring together radicals to protest the government and the Vietnam War.
Hoffman lived as a fugitive in a cocaine-trafficking case for years and served two years in work-release program when he surrendered.
By his own count, Hoffman was arrested more than 40 times. He said the government had 67,000 pages of files on him.
Hoffman, divorced twice, was the father of three children. Besides his brother, he also is survived by his mother.
Hoffman said his brother, a native of Worcester, Mass., had decided to donate his organs and that the body would be cremated. Tentative arrangements were made for memorial services in Bucks County, New York and Worcester.