The 1920s and 1930s were a deadly time. It wasn’t all about flappers and fancy parties like you’d envision in the Great Gatsby. Prohibition and the Great Depression hit the United States head-on, creating a violent battleground of corruption.
Passed in 1920, the 18th Amendment banned the manufacturing, sale, and consumption of alcohol, which led to a growth in speakeasies and bootlegging—and plenty of other forms of organized crime. You didn’t want to find yourself in the wrong circles…
Indeed it was a grim time. Mob capitals sprung out all over the nation. Places like Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Philadelphia were, home to murderous gangsters; and some of these gangsters who would later become American legends.
Who were the American Gangsters back then?
We’ve all heard of Al Capone: guilty of murder, bootlegging, gambling, and prostitution operations; the infamous duo, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, notorious for bank robberies and murder— they who were gunned down by officers on May 23, 1934. There was also Los Angeles mob boss Mickey Cohen, who was arrested for tax evasion (guilty of murder and more). He served time in Alcatraz only to die of stomach cancer at 62.
Check out this great infographic to explore more about America’s most legendary gangsters.
(Click on the image for full view)