Five-Time National Hobo King and Founding Member of National Hobo Foundation Dies at 89

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Sometimes, the little guys don’t get enough credit.

‘King of Hobos’ Dies at Age 89
By Associated Press

 

November 21, 2006, 3:04 PM EST

NAPOLEON, Ohio — Maurice Graham, who began hitching rides on trains as a teenager and was known as the “King of the Hobos,” has died at the age of 89.

Graham, who recently suffered a stroke, died Saturday at the Northcrest Nursing Home, his family said.

Graham, nicknamed “Steam Train Maury,” was a founding member of the National Hobo Foundation and helped establish the Hobo Museum in Britt, Iowa.

He was “a true hobo hero,” said foundation president Linda Hughes.

“He was a classy and respected man,” she said. “No one can live up to Steam Train. He’s irreplaceable.”

Graham in 1990 wrote “Tales of the Iron Road: My Life As King of the Hobos,” telling his stories of hopping trains beginning at the age of 14 and living in hobo camps until 1980. He was named National Hobo King five times at the annual hobo convention in Britt, and was crowned Grand Patriarch of Hoboes in 2004.

Graham worked as a mason and founded a school where he taught the trade. He was a medical technician during World War II.

He is survived by his wife, Wanda, and two daughters.

For more: The Hobo Foundation.

WE'RE TAKING A SHORT BREAK…

from the big banner at the top of our pages asking for the donations that make Mother Jones' nonprofit journalism possible. But we still have upwards of $300,000 to raise by June 30, whether we get there is going to come down to the wire, and we can't afford to come up short.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

payment methods

WE'RE TAKING A SHORT BREAK…

from the big banner at the top of our pages asking for the donations that make Mother Jones' nonprofit journalism possible. But we still have upwards of $300,000 to raise by June 30, whether we get there is going to come down to the wire, and we can't afford to come up short.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate