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1920s & 1930s Hero Project

By Wilner Maurice

1924 American bootlegger and florist Impulsive and strange in nature . 1892 in Illinois Irish American Died November 10.Charles Dean “Dion” O’Banion • • • • • Born on July 8.

Early Life • Choir boy at the Holy Name Cathedral • Joined a street gang called the Little Hell Gang in north side Chicago • Was injured by a stunt which left him with a leg that was one inch shorter than the other • Dropped out of school around the age of fourteen .

Early Life of Crime • Became a waiter at McGovern’s Saloon and Cabaret • Sings sentimental Irish ballads to the customers • Pick pockets customers as they become intoxicated • Would mug people in the streets after the bar closes • Befriended Gene Geary. who taught him how to use a gun and gave him advice on how to run a criminal racket • Is known as one of Chicago’s craziest gangsters .

Incarcerations • Was only incarcerated twice in his lifetime • 1St incarceration occurred in 1909 • O’Banion and his friends were caught stealing postage stamps at a drugstore • Served six months • Incarcerated for assault and possession of deadly weapons • Served three months .

1921 • Married at Holy Name Cathedral • Bought an apartment at 3600 North Pine Grove Avenue • Florist • Bought half the shares of William Schofield’s flower shop • Started tradition of sending flowers to funerals of gangsters .Normal Life • Married Viola Kaniff on February 5.

Prohibition Profited from prohibition like other gangsters Involved in bootlegging Used florist as a front and base of operations Was successful during prohibition due to liquor hijacking • Stockpiles stolen alcohol at Samuel Morton’s garage. a Jewish gangster and friend of O’Banion • Would split profits • • • • .

and Albert Anselmi • Went to florist under the guise to pick up a wreath for a funeral • Shot O’Banion six times. John Scalise.Death • Died on November 10. 1924 • Was killed for deceiving Torrio. twice In the throat. a rival gangster • Was gunned down at his florist • The hit men were Frankie Yale. twice in the chest. and twice in the face .