Bill Bufalino

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Bill Bufalino Sr
William Eugene Bufalino Sr

(1918-04-13)April 13, 1918
DiedMay 12, 1990(1990-05-12) (aged 72)
RelativesRussell Bufalino (cousin)

William Eugene Bufalino Sr (April 13, 1918 – May 12, 1990) was an American attorney who represented the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) from 1947 until 1971. He retired in 1982. Bufalino worked closely with Jimmy Hoffa until his disappearance in 1975, presumably murdered.[1] William was the cousin of Northeast Pennsylvania mob don Russell Bufalino.

Early life[edit]

Bufalino was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania, one of nine children in a coal mining family. He studied for the Roman Catholic priesthood for two years before switching to law. He graduated from Dickinson School of Law in 1942 and served in World War II as a lieutenant in the Army's Judge Advocate General Corps. After he returned from the Army he began practicing law in 1947.[2]


Bufalino represented union leader Jimmy Hoffa for nearly 25 years. He helped the union and Hoffa fight racketeering charges. Bufalino represented the union in seven trials winning five. Hoffa was eventually jailed for jury tampering.[2]

Bufalino was a Teamster official for 20 years serving as president of Local 985 in the Detroit-area. Senate investigation portrayed Local 985 as "a collection agency for gangster-dominated operators". Bufalino was repeatedly accused of Mafia connections. He sued Senator John L. McClellan, an Arkansas Democrat, and Robert F. Kennedy for damaging his reputation with accusations of connections to organized crime. He lost the lawsuit.[2]

Hoffa disappeared in 1975. Bufalino claimed Hoffa was killed by the Central Intelligence Agency because of his knowledge of an alleged government plot to use Mafia members to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro. Bufalino said Hoffa was critical of Robert F. Kennedy and used surveillance expert Bernard Spindel to bug Marilyn Monroe's home to spy on Kennedy.

Bufalino retired to Pompano Beach, Florida


Bufalino died of leukemia on May 12, 1990 at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.[2]

Media portrayals[edit]

Bufalino is portrayed by Ray Romano in Martin Scorsese's 2019 crime film The Irishman.[3]


  1. ^ "William E. Bufalino Sr.; Attorney for Teamsters Union, Jimmy Hoffa". Los Angeles Times. 1990-05-21. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  2. ^ a b c d Fowler, Glenn (1990-05-15). "William Bufalino Sr., 72, Lawyer For Hoffa and Teamsters' Union". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  3. ^ Holmes, Adam (2017-07-15). "The Irishman Has Added Ray Romano, Here's Who He'll Play". CINEMABLEND. Retrieved 2018-03-15.

External links[edit]