WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Former United Mine Workers President W. A. (Tony) Boyle, serving three life terms for ordering the deaths of a union rival and his family, died Friday in Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. He was 83.
A hospital spokeswoman said Boyle, who had been hospitalized often during the last three years for a variety of medical problems associated with old age, died at 10:20 a.m. A cause of death was not immediately available.
Boyle was convicted of murder for ordering the deaths of UMW insurgent Joseph (Jock) Yablonski, 59; his wife, Margaret, 57, and his daughter Charlotte, 25, who were shot to death in their sleep by three young triggermen in the Yablonski family's Clarksburg farmhouse on New Year's Eve, 1969.
The murders occurred three weeks after the UMW presidential elections in which Boyle defeated Yablonski, a maverick who challenged Boyle's reign and refused to concede the balloting.