Saturday, April 12, 2008

The unexpected death of Abbie Hoffman

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
1989 Activist and Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman (b. 1936), gadfly of the Central Intelligence Agency for more than 20 years, was found dead by his own hand at his home in New Hope, Pennsylvania, USA. He was 52 years old. According to an autopsy, he'd ingested 150 Phenobarbital tablets and was legally drunk at the time of his death.

His death was officially ruled a suicide, but many who knew him refused to believe that he had willingly taken his own life, particularly at a time that he was very concerned about his mother's health and well-being, and things were going very well in his career. As reported by The New York Times, "Among the more vocal doubters at the service today was Mr. Dellinger [David Dellinger -- PW], who said, 'I don't believe for one moment the suicide thing.' Dellinger said he had been in fairly frequent touch with Mr. Hoffman, who had 'numerous plans for the future'." At the time of his death, Hoffman was at the height of a renewed public visibility, one of the few '60s radicals who still commanded the attention of the mass media. He regularly lectured campus audiences about the CIA's covert activities, including assassinations disguised as suicides.

Hoffman died only three days before he was scheduled to celebrate the second anniversary of his courtroom victory over the CIA, and less than three months into the presidency of George HW Bush, the former CIA director he had eluded in the mid-1970s.

At the funeral, Rabbi Norman Mendell said in his eulogy that Hoffman's long history of protest, antic though much of it had been, was in the Jewish prophetic tradition, which is to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" ...

See also: Sacha Baron Cohen, meet Abbie Hoffman

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abbie topped himself because the 1980s were irrelevant.

8:31 PM  

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