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Larry Hoover, also known as “King Larry”, is the notorious former leader of the Black Gangster Disciple Nation, a Chicago street gang that has spread across the country.

Larry Hoover seen in 1993

Larry Hoover grew up in Chicago and became the leader of the Supreme Gangsters, which merged with a rival gang to become the Black Gangster Disciple Nation. In 1973, Hoover was sentenced to 150 to 200 years in prison for the murder of a drug dealer. Despite attempts to present himself as reformed, he was indicted in 1995 for continuing to orchestrate gang activity from prison.

Hoover was born on November 30, 1950 in Jackson, Mississippi. His parents moved the family north to Chicago, Illinois when Hoover was 4 years old. At the age of 13, he was on the streets with a group called the Supreme Gangsters, engaging in petty crimes such as theft and assault. His criminal activity quickly evolved into shootings and assaults.

Hoover rose to a leadership role as the Supreme Gangsters grew, and he then joined forces with rival gang leader David Barksdale to form the Black Gangster Disciple Nation. In 1969, after Barksdale was injured in a shootout, Hoover took over the Gangster Disciples. The gang has taken control of the drug trade on the south side, making more than $ 1,000 in profit per day.

In his early twenties, Hoover had entered and exited prison on several occasions and had suffered at least six separate shooting attempts. However, he could not escape the scope of the law when he and another follower of the gangster, Andrew Howard, were charged with the murder of trafficker William Young on February 26, 1973. Both men were sentenced to 150 to 200 years in prison, with Hoover sent to maximum security Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois.

But Hoover’s power seemed to grow only inside Stateville. He began to protect other inmates, who in turn became devotees and new recruits for the Gangster Disciples. His control over other prisoners was recognized by the warden’s office, which began to view Hoover as a positive influence in quelling riots and uprisings within the prison system.

Hoover, inspired by the biography of Mayor Richard J. Daley, began to discourage violence among his supporters. Instead, he made education compulsory for members of the Gangster Disciples and instructed his army to “go to school, learn trades and develop … talents and skills, so that we become stronger in society “.

By changing the GD from “Gangster Disciple” to “Growth and Development,” Hoover’s reform movement began to gain positive attention from outside. Growth and Development has created nonprofits that registered voters, a music label that helped children in need, a series of peaceful protests to fight shutdowns of public programs and even a clothing line.

Questionable prison officials, however, saw Hoover’s good intentions as a ploy to get out of prison and resume his illegal activities. As friends and allies on the outside lobbied for Hoover’s parole for his contributions to society, law enforcement officers insisted he was finding new ways to develop his criminal enterprises. Gangster Disciples had grown to over 15,000 members in at least five states. Their drug profits had also amounted to millions of dollars, which gang members all attributed to Hoover’s management.

Transferred to another prison in Vienna, Ill., Hoover led a luxurious lifestyle that involved new clothes, expensive jewelry, specially prepared meals, and private visits from friends and relatives. Suspicious authorities began wiretapping Hoover’s private meetings and discovered that he was leading the Gangster Disciple group from the prison system.

Worse yet, informants have revealed that Hoover’s nonprofits were in fact fronts to launder drug money. According to the testimony of Gangster Disciple members, none of the proceeds from any of the so-called charities were actually used to help someone in need.

On August 31, 1995, after a five-year secret investigation by the federal government, Hoover was charged with drug conspiracy. He was removed from his prison cell and transferred to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago for trial.

In 1997, Hoover was convicted of all counts and sentenced to six life sentences. He is currently serving his sentence at the United States Maximum Administrative Correctional Facility in Florence, Colorado.

Source: Biography.com

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