CWRU Links

PRESSER, JACKlE

PRESSER, JACKIE (6 Aug. 1926-9 July 1988), son of labor leader WILLIAM PRESSER, was head of the 1.6 million-member Teamster Union and served as labor advisor to President Ronald Reagan.

Jackie was born in Cleveland, the son of William and Faye (Friedman) Presser and attended local schools. Although his early jobs with the Teamster Union ended badly, Presser's father made him Secretary-Treasurer of Local 507, newly chartered in the mid-l960s to organize warehouse workers. By 1971 Local 507 had grown to 4,430 members scattered across northern Ohio in 121 different bargaining units, and Presser acquired more salaried positions including President and General Manager of Teamster Local 10, Hotel and Restaurant Employees; Financial Secretary of Local 19, Bakery and Confectionary Workers, and Vice President of Joint Council 41. In 1976 he was elected International Vice President for Communications where he planned innovative programs for Teamsters which attracted positive media attention. Court records showed that Presser and his father were informants for the FBI in the late 1970s and transcripts of wiretaps linked both of them to organized crime figures. Despite this, Presser was elected President of the International Union in April, 1983 and was appointed labor advisor to President Ronald Reagan in return for the union's support of his presidential campaign.

Presser married Pauline Walls 31 May 1947, and they had a daughter Suzanne born 29 Sept.of that year. After their divorce in 1949, Presser was briefly married to Elaine Goeble. He and his 3rd wife Patricia, whom he married in 1952, had a daugher Bari Lynn (Joseph) and a son (Gary). They divorced in 1971, and Presser married Carmen DeLaportilla. He divorced his 4th wife in 1986 in order to marry Cynthia Jarabek. Presser died in Cleveland at age 61.


James Neff. Mobbed Up: Jackie Presser' High-Wire Life in the Teamsters, the Mafia and the F.B.I. (1989).