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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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