Abbie Hoffman was born November 30th,1936. He was a revolutionary and conscientious objector even in the fierce face of the Chicago police during the 1968 police riots of the Democratic National Convention. He wrote, amoung other things, "Sacred cows make the best hamburger." and also,in "Soon to be a Major Motion Picture","Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embeded in the human spirit."

I met Abbie one time in 1988 in Chicago at the 68+20 Conference at the Chicago Ampetheater, the site of the '68 DNC. Abbie was there to speak along with others from the Chicago 7(8) including Dave Dillenger and if I remember correctly Bobby Seal.

Abbie had been my greatest hero up until that point, having read Revolution For The Hell Of It and all his other books, he had inspired me to begin smoking pot, get involved with No Business As Usual (a group protesting nuclear issues and US Imperialism, and listen to the Beatles and MC5.

When we met I asked Abbie to stop by a round-table I was involved with called Youth Revolution Today, that was happening at the conference. He said "no" and didn't smile... He said he had a plane to catch. I was crushed... I asked him to sign my original edition of Steal This Book, which he did, but when I tried to get him involved in a conversation about the Youth Movement of the 80's and how to battle the Regan/Bush right-wing he simply skipped answering and moved on to the next person...

He had a broken leg at the time and even during his hilarious speech to the convention he seemed a little down. Like I said I was crushed by his refusal to address our group or participate in our round table. Oh well I thought, I guess he's just a busy man.

I was at a Rainbow Gathering two years latter on the 4th of July, tripping on LSD and meditating, when I heard he had committed suicide. I was blown away, and thought it couldn't be true! That it had to have been some kind of government assassination. Latter on that night as I came down I thought back to meeting him and how sad he seemed... I thought yeah, maybe this guy was manic depressive enough to kill himself.

Now nearly 13 years latter I think back on it all and I wonder what Abbie would think of the current state of affairs in the US with Bush the younger... or what he might have thought about Bill Clinton... I bet he would have gotten a laugh out of the whole I never inhaled deal and the Monika Lewinski hummer.

To Abbie Hoffman up in heaven somewhere:
Man I hope you're having fun these days chilling with John Lennon and all your other dead and gone friends. Say hi to Jerry for me. Man we miss you and your zany Yippie! spirit down here.


Abbie Hoffman was born in 1936 to a Jewish family living in Worcester. His father intially worked in Abbie's uncle's pharmacy, but later went on to start a medical distribution company of his own. Through his childhood years, Abbie's parents realized that he was not destined to be a "normal" person. In his book Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture, Abbie says he used asthma in his early years as a manipulative tool to get what he wanted. He later stopped using asthma and moved onto martyrdom. When he got in trouble with his parents, he would refuse to eat until they gave into his demands, but he reveals in his autobiography that he actually ate out of a secret stash of candybars and soda in his room. Abbie was never totally a martyr, just enough to get what he wanted.

In his highschool years he became a semi-"greaser", learning the fine art of pool and card hustling. Abbie eventually made his way though highschool and entered Brandeis University, majoring in social psych. In such a liberal college as Brandeis, Abbie's rebellious core flourished. He quickly became a "bo" (bohemian), and was informed by a friend of the existence of the CIA, and their secret activities. At this point, Abbie began to get involved with the cultural and political movement called the hippies. Travelling back to Worcester from Berkeley (the second school he attended), to organize and help lead the first antiwar march in Worcester. The march was strongly opposed... in fact there were more anti-antiwar ralliers there than antiwar. This would change in time though, and at the peak of his political activist career, he was a core organizer for the Democratic National Convention which drew 600,000 people in protest. Abbie's activities declined after the trial of the Chicago 7 (8 including Bobby Seale, who was bound and gagged during the trial).

He did university speeches for awhile until the FBI forced him underground with a trumped up, illegally operated cocaine bust. He travelled abroad with such exiled heavywheights as Timothy Leary but was unable to find political asylum. He lived underground for 6 years in and around the American continent, fighting against Nuclear Power and other post 60's causes. He supposedly died in 1990 by his own hand, but I've been unable to confirm that, due to the fact he was living underground.

1936-1989. From Worcester, MA. Psychologist by training (degrees from Brandeis and UC Berkeley). Became politicized in the US civil rights movement; he became gonzo later, and helped found the Youth International Party in 1966. Author of Steal This Book (go buy a copy). Went underground for six years, starting in 1974, after cocaine possession charges; he was "Barry Fried", with his face altered by cosmetic surgery. Semper dissident, until his suicide.

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