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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Larry Hoover's Family Continues to Press Forward and Advocate for His Release


Led by his wife, Winndye Hoover, Larry Hoover's family continues their relentless campaign to get him released from prison.


In 1973 while serving as the leader of the Gangster Disciples gang in Chicago, Hoover was sentenced to prison for murder. While serving time, he became a model prisoner. During this bid, Hoover developed a relationship with Dr. Clemens Bartollas, a University of Northern Iowa sociology professor. Their relationship grew and eventually enabled Hoover to speak to Bartollas' students via conference calls where he lectured about the dangers of gang participation, drugs, and other criminal behavior.


Yet, during this bid, he was being federally investigated. The feds used phone taps and secret recorders in visitor badges to listen to conversations between Hoover and his visitors. When this investigation concluded in 1995, he was charged and found guilty of continuing to operate a criminal enterprise, plus other charges, then transferred from Illinois to the Colorado ADX Supermax prison for the duration of his life.


Many Hoover supporters believe that transferring Hoover's custody to the Colorado ADX was a stringent move tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment. In this facility, prisoners are in solitary confinement for 23 hours every day and have little access to visitors or the outside world. Bartollas and many others felt that Hoover's second conviction was unjust. In a Chicago Tribune interview, Dr. Bartollas stated the following about Hoover's incarceration, "They're holding him because they're afraid of him." "They're afraid of his political power."

Over the years, several media programs, including 'CNN' and '60 Minutes,' have requested interviews from Hoover. The media has described him as intelligent, influential, and rehabilitated. The Las Vegas Shopping Network has approached him to create an anti-crime and pro-education video. 'The Chicago Reader' wrote an article about Larry titled "The Gang that Could Go Straight."


His long-time friend and music executive, James Prince, has continuously advocated for Larry. James has recently connected rappers Kanye West and Drake, who are also advocating for Larry. During a sit down with President Trump in 2018, Kanye West asked the President to pardon Larry Hoover from prison. West feels that Larry is a natural leader who changed for the better and could be an asset to the Black community, especially in Chicago, where gun violence is exceptionally high.

Stay tuned for more updates regarding the movement for Hoover's freedom.


Photo Credit: Winndye Hoover



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