WASHINGTON - Ron Carey, the former Teamsters president who pledged to rid the union of mob corruption but was later forced from leadership in a financial scandal, has died. He was 72.

Carey died Thursday at New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens of complications from lung cancer, his son Daniel Carey said.

After a stint in the Marines, Carey joined the Teamsters in 1956 while working as a driver for United Parcel Service.

He became president of a local union post in New York in 1967 on a platform of challenging corrupt leadership in the organization.

In 1997, Carey led 185,000 workers in a two-week strike against UPS that cost the company $750 million and ultimately won the union 10,000 new full-time jobs. *