Larry Hoover

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Larry Hoover
Born (1950-11-30) November 30, 1950 (age 67)
Sallis, Mississippi, U.S.
Other names King Larry
Criminal penalty 150–285 years imprisonment
(six life sentences)
Criminal status imprisoned at ADX Florence supermax prison in Florence, Colorado[1]
Spouse(s) Winndye Jenkins
(common–law wife)[2]
Children Larry Bernard, Larry Hoover, Jr., Tyree Hoover
Conviction(s) Murder, conspiracy, extortion, and continuing to engage in a criminal enterprise.
Date apprehended
March 16, 1973

Larry Hoover (born November 30, 1950) is an American gang leader and founder of the Chicago street gang called the Gangster Disciples. Hoover is currently serving six life sentences at the ADX Florence supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. His sentences include a 150–200 year sentence for a 1973 murder; and in 1997, after a 17-year investigation of conspiracy, extortion, money laundering, and running a continuing criminal enterprise for leading the gang from state prison, he received a life sentence.[3]


Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Hoover's parents moved their family (which included brothers, sisters and grandparents) to Chicago, Illinois in search of a better life when Hoover was 4 years old. By the age of 12, Hoover was on the streets with his friends calling themselves "supreme gangsters". As the gang grew, Hoover emerged as its leader. Known as "Prince Larry," Hoover, along with rival gang leader David Barksdale, decided to merge their gangs into one: the Black Gangster Disciple Nation. A grade school dropout, Hoover earned his GED and an emergency medical technician's license while incarcerated.

1973 murder of William Young[edit]

On the evening of February 26, 1973, William "Pooky" Young, a 19-year old neighborhood youth, was abducted and later shot to death in an alley near 68th Street and Union Avenue in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. His killing was ordered by Hoover after his name was mentioned as one of three people accused of stealing drugs and money from the gang five days earlier.[4] On March 16, 1973, Hoover and Young's killer, Gangster Disciple member Andrew Howard, were both arrested. In November 1973, Howard and Hoover were both charged with murder and sentenced to 150 to 200 years in prison. Hoover was sent to Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois, to serve out his term.[3][5]

Gangster Disciples Leader[edit]

In 1974, after Barksdale died from kidney failure due to an earlier shooting, Hoover took the reins of the Gangster Disciples Nation, which now had control of Chicago's South Side. Under Hoover's rule, the Gangster Disciples took over the South Side drug trade. While incarcerated, Hoover helped form the Folks Nation, which added other gangs such as: Black Disciples, Gangster Disciples, Satan Disciples, Cash Money Brothers, La Raza Nation, Maniac Latin Disciples, and Spanish Gangster Disciples. While incarcerated, Hoover ran the gang's illicit drug trade in prison and on the streets, starting from Chicago's West Side and later extending throughout the United States. By early 1993, Hoover claimed to have renounced his violent criminal past and became an urban political celebrity in Chicago. The Gangster Disciples earned fans in the community with charity events and peaceful protests. Hoover proclaimed that initials GD had changed to mean "Growth & Development." A lengthy federal investigation using wiretaps led to Hoover getting another life sentence in 1995. Hoover's gang allegedly had 30,000 "soldiers" in 35 states and made $100 million a year, a total of approximately $3,300.00 per "soldier" annually.


On August 22, 1995, after a 17-year undercover investigation by the federal government, Hoover was indicted for drug conspiracy, extortion, and continuing to engage in a criminal enterprise.[6] He was arrested at the Vienna Correctional Center by federal agents, and moved to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago to stand trial. In 1997, Hoover was found guilty on all charges, and sentenced to six life terms. Hoover is currently serving his sentence at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado.[1][7]

See also[edit]

  • Continuing Criminal Enterprise
  • Cooley, Will (2017). “Jim Crow Organized Crime: Black Chicago’s Underground Economy in the Twentieth Century,” in Building the Black Metropolis: African American Entrepreneurship in Chicago, Robert Weems and Jason Chambers, eds. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 147-170. ISBN 978-0252082948.


External links[edit]