Fred Hampton was the chairman of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP). Hampton was also the deputy chairman of the national BPP. The Panthers were focused upon the self-improvement and self-determination of African-American communities. One of their biggest successes in Chicago was their ability to negotiate a peace agreement among the street gangs of Chicago which had been extremely destructive for the community. These coalitions actually frightened some within the United States government. One who was especially disturbed by the growing momentum of the revolutionary organizations in the U.S. was J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI. The FBI began monitoring Hampton and his peers. The FBI utilized many smear tactics as well as infiltration tactics to split the BPP away from many of the groups it had formed alliances with. The FBI then organized a raid on Hampton's apartment where a firearms stockpile was supposedly held. An agent who had infiltrated the BPP and become close to Hampton was present the night of the raid. The agent drugged Hampton to have him sleep through the raid. The raid began in the early hours of the next morning. The aftermath saw Fred Hampton and another chapter chairman, Mark Clark, dead. In total, the apartment's residents fired a total of one round whereas the police fired nearly one hundred.
Hampton was known to be a fantastic civil organizer even before he was with the Black Panthers. He worked for the NAACP in Chicago before being drawn to the Panthers for their ten point program.
A big part of Hampton's success as a civil rights leader was his profound affinity for public speaking. He was truly a gifted orator and that drew people to him.