Charles “Chuckie” O’Brien was a close associate of Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, who viewed the labor leader as a father figure and was thought by some to have been involved in his mysterious disappearance. A car that O’Brien was driving earlier in the day of Hoffa’s disappearance became a key piece of evidence in the Hoffa case. O’Brien was a leading suspect whom police extensively questioned, with some believing that he had driven Hoffa to the scene of his murder. O’Brien vehemently denied the allegations, and conclusive evidence of his involvement was never found. In 2019, O’Brien was portrayed by Jesse Plemons in the Best Picture-nominated film “The Irishman.” O’Brien spoke out against the film, saying it twisted the facts of Hoffa’s life and disappearance.
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Died: February 13, 2020 (Who else died on February 13?)
Details of death: Died in Boca Raton, Florida of a heart attack at the age of 86.
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Foster father: O’Brien met Hoffa when he was nine, having moved to Detroit with his mother after his father left them. Hoffa took them in and became an influential father figure to O’Brien, who considered Hoffa his foster father. O’Brien began working with Hoffa as a teen and became his special assistant. The two were near-constant companions for many years.
Notable quote: “Everyone that’s written these books, they all surmise what happened. They have no facts on them, they have no truth on them. The book gets printed and it goes out and they sell them, and that’s it.” —O’Brien, quoted in a 2020 New York Times op-ed by his stepson, Jack Goldsmith
Full obituary: Detroit Free Press