Larry Hoover (born November 30, 1950 in Jackson, Mississippi) was a leader and co-founder of the Chicago street gang called the Gangster Disciples. Hoover is currently serving 6 life sentences at the ADX Florence supermax prison in Florence, Colorado after being convicted in 1997 of conspiracy, extortion, money laundering, and running a continuing criminal enterprise for leading the gang from state prison.
Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Hoover’s parents moved their family to Chicago, Illinois, when Hoover was four years old. By age 12, Hoover was on the streets with his friends calling themselves “supreme gangsters”.
As the gang grew, Hoover emerged as its natural 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. On February 26, 1973 Hoover and another Gangster Disciple, Andrew Howard, shot and killed dealer William Young after a heated argument over money. Both Hoover and Howard were arrested, and sentenced to 150 to 200 years in prison. Hoover was sent to Stateville Correctional Center Crest Hill, Illinois, to serve out his term.
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, La Raza, 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 the early ’90s Hoover claimed to have renounced his violent criminal past and became an urban political celebrity in Chicago, and the GDs earned fans in the community with charity events and peaceful protests. He proclaimed that GD now meant “Growth & Development.” A lengthy federal investigation using wiretaps led to Hoover getting another life sentence in 1995. Hoover’s gang allegedly has had 30,000 “soldiers” in 35 states and made $100 million a year, a total of $3,300.30 per “soldier” annually.
On August 31, 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. 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.