Born: April 19, 1902
Died: May 16, 1957 Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois
Eliot Ness was the youngest of five children born to Peter and Emma Ness.
His father operated a successful bakery business having several shops along with delivery trucks.
Ness received much attention from his parents and was a good academic student.
He was given some support to follow a law career as one of his brother-in-laws worked for the Justice Department.
Generally, his family was not happy when Ness decided he would work as a retail credit investigator after high school graduation.
At the same time, he enrolled in criminology at the University of Chicago night school.
Upon completion of his course work, Eliot Ness was hired to work with the Chicago branch of the Treasury Department.
Ness developed a reputation as a hard-working "honest" agent; i.e.he wasn't taking bribes from anyone.
He was given an assignment to go after the notorious gangster, Al Capone, who was providing illegal liquor to local establishments.
Over the next several months, Eliot Ness and his fifty man team, who gained the nickname "Untouchables", made raids on brewery after brewery making it difficult for Capone to carry on his usual business.
Capone developed ways to find out what move Ness would make next and Ness made use of secret wire taps which helped him plan raids on Capone's operations.
Eliot Ness had attempts on his life on several occasions and was aware he was a walking target for Capone mobsters.
The government decided to try Capone for tax evasion as they were having problems catching him personally in the act of a crime.
After many Capone moves such as bribing jury members, threatening witnesses, and refusing to plead guilty on lesser charges he was finally found guilty.
Ness held considerable evidence in reserve that was not used in the trial; in case Capone was not convicted, Ness intended to charge Capone again with new crimes.
Capone was sentenced to prison for eleven years but his health greatly deteriorated over the years in jail.
Ness more or less duplicated his Chicago moves against organized crime once again in Cleveland where several charges were laid against criminals.
From stress over the work he undertook, Ness developed a drinking problem which led him to resign.
Eliot Ness was an excellent law enforcement officer who made the nation excited that criminals were not beating the law.
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