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

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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.

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In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

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