Eliot Ness

Eliot Ness

Eliot Ness was born on April 19, 1903, in Chicago. He was a lucky boy born into an almost storybook type of American family. His parents, Peter and Emma Ness, were Norwegian immigrants who had earned a comfortable middle class life for their family by very hard work and practical living. Over the years, Peter had made his wholesale bakery business into a thriving concern with several shops and delivery trucks.
Eliot was the youngest of the five Ness children. There was a huge age difference between Eliot and his siblings. His three older sisters had families of their own when Eliot was very young. Even his brother was thirteen years older.
The result was that Eliot received a great deal of individual attention from his parents who were well into middle age when he was born. Their indulgence paid off because Eliot was a remarkably well-behaved boy, who helped his father at his work and earned money on his own from his paaper route.
Young Eliot was a good student and an avid reader. Fueling his imagination with adventure stories from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Eliot seemed to prefer reading to playing ball with the kids in his neighborhood.His older brother-in-law, Alexander Ja

amie, who was an agent for the Justice Department, fueled young Eliot’s need for adventure. It was Jamie who taught him to shoot and encouraged him to develop his marksmanship.Eliot went to school at the University of Chicago and earned a degree in business and law.
Nobody in his family was happy when upon graduation in 1925, he chose to be a retail credit investigator instead of pursuing a career in business. At night, he went back to the University of Chicago to take courses in criminology under the well-known expert, August Volmar.
In 1927, when he had finished his year of criminology studies, Ness hired on with the Treasury Department in Chicago. With some help from his brother-in-law, whose career in federal laaw enforcement was on the rise, Ness transferred over to the Prohibition Bureau.
He was one of the three hundred men responsible for prosecuting the flourishing Chicago bootlegging industry. The Chicago branch of the Prohibition Bureau had a reputation for corruption that equaled the rest of the Windy City’s law enforcement establishment. Again, his family wished that he had made a better choice for himself.
Ever since Eliot Ness first published The Untouchables in 1957, the public has fallen in love with th
he adventures of this authentic American hero. His book was a runaway best seller because it was the exciting true story of a brave and honest lawman pitted against the country_s most successful gangster, Al Capone. The television series that followed in the 1950_s and the Kevin Costner movie in 1987 built fancifully on the same theme. Then again in 1993, the television series has been remade for yet another generation to watch Eliot Ness battle it out again with the Capone Mob.
Every school child knows what Eliot Ness did for two years in Chicago, but what happened to him afterwards when Al Capone went to jail? Almost nobody knows. Does that mean the young hero retired to a quiet life?
Not by a long shot! With a new group of “Untouchables,” Eliot Ness went right on fighting the mob for another decade: staging daring raids on bootleggers and illegal gambling joints, catching criminals with his bare hands, and generally putting organized crime on the run. After Capone, he broadened his crusade to include labor racketeers, crooked cops and the country_s most vicious serial killer, the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run. So why didn_t Eliot Ness write about his adventures after Chicago? Ac
ctually, he had planned to do just that, but he died of a heart attack just before the publishing of The Untouchables.
This story is the result of hundreds of interviews and thousands of hours of research to capture events never before published. All the events contained in this story are substantively correct, although the exact dialogue, remembered from interviews taken decades after the event, may only be approximate.
Ness_s career in law enforcement continued for a decade beyond the Capone years, a decade in which his very considerable talents flowered. At the age of 33 in Cleveland, he faced the challenge of his career when he took over the corrupt and incompetent police force in a city that had become a haven for gangsters.Never one to sit behind a desk and administrate, Eliot took to the street with a new group of trusted confidants, mostly undercover investigators and reporters, until he cleaned up the police force and put the mob chieftains behind bars.
Drawing on his master_s degree in criminology, he turned the miserable Cleveland police force into one of the most modern, efficient and respected departments in the world. Crime in the city dropped 38 percent after he was on the job ju
ust a couple of years! Eliot Ness was so much more than just the courageous guy who battered down the door of Capone_s biggest brewery. It_s time the American public knew about the rest of his accomplishments, which are at once exciting, inspiring and long lasting.

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