SOLEBURY TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Abbie Hoffman, the Yippie founder and Chicago Seven defendant who hid for seven years as a fugitive for cocaine trafficking, was found dead at his home at age 52. Authorities said they suspected no foul play but ordered an autopsy Thursday.
Hoffman was found dead by his landlord Wednesday night of apparently natural causes in his apartment 25 miles north of Philadelphia.
Solebury Township Police Chief Richard Mangan said the body was taken to nearby Doylestown Hospital for an autopsy.
'There was no evidence whatsoever of drugs or drug activity,' Bucks County District Attorney Alan Rubenstein said. 'We do not know the cause of death and we ordered an autopsy. It is suspicious only because we carry it that way not knowing the actual cause of death.'
Divorced twice, Hoffman is survived by Johanna Lawrenson, his common-law-wife, and three children, including America, who appeared with him at Point Pleasant demonstrations. Hoffman was long estranged from his father, who died three weeks after his son went underground while awaiting trial on the cocaine charges, but he remained close to his mother even during his years of hiding, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
One of Hoffman's most recent challenges of the establishment paired him with Amy Carter, daughter of former President Jimmy Carter. Hoffman, Carter and 14 others were arrested in November 1986 during an anti-CIA protest at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
They were acquitted of trespassing charges in April 1987 after a highly publicized trial in which the defendants used a 'necessity defense' -- arguing their protest was necessary to call attention to alleged CIA crimes.
The shaggy Hoffman was a combination of political clown and character actor in a real life drama that cast him for many years as a fugitive from justice. He first made the news headlines in 1967 when he threw money on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in what he conceived as a symbolic clearing of money lenders from the temple.
But Hoffman was not taken seriously until he, Jerry Rubin and Paul Krassner founded the Youth International Party, a protest group better known as the Yippies.
He was also a member of the Chicago Seven, a group of anti-Vietnam War activists convicted of organizing the violent demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention in 1968. The convictions were overturned on appeal.
On Aug. 28, 1973, he was arrested in New York on charges of selling 3 pounds of cocaine worth $36,000 to undercover police officers.
Hoffman had plastic surgery on his nose to change his appearance and then went underground to star as an impostor in a fantastic charade. After hiding out briefly in Mexico City and Montreal, Hoffman settled down in Fineview, N.Y., a town of 1,000 people on an island in the St. Lawrence.
He remained in Fineview until Sept. 4, 1980, when he surrendered to authorities and on Jan. 23 he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of possession of cocaine.
Hoffman was sentenced April 7, 1981, to a maximum three years in prison, a term he began serving two weeks later. He was soon moved to a minimum-security prison in New York City, where he served out his sentence, working an outside job and returning to the facility at night.