Hoffa disappeared at 2:45 pm on July 30, 1975, from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield Township in Detroit. According to accounts, he believed he was to meet there with two Mafia leaders—Anthony Giacalone from Detroit, and Anthony Provenzano from Union City, New Jersey and New York City. Provenzano was also a union leader with the Teamsters in New Jersey, and had earlier been quite close to Hoffa. Provenzano was a national vice-president with IBT from 1961, Hoffa’s second term as Teamsters’ president.

Upon Hoffa’s failure to return home from the restaurant by late that evening, his wife called police to report him missing. When police arrived at the restaurant, they found Hoffa’s car, but no sign of Hoffa himself, nor any indication of what had happened to him. Extensive investigations into the disappearance began immediately, and continued over the next several years by several law enforcement groups, including the FBI. However, the investigations failed to conclusively determine Hoffa’s fate. For their part, Giacolone and Provenzano were each found not to have been in the vicinity of the restaurant that afternoon, and each of them denied that they had scheduled any meeting with Hoffa.

On the seventh anniversary of his disappearance was declared legally dead in 1982.

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