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Eliot Ness
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Crime Fighter
    (April 19, 1903-May 16, 1957)
    Head of Chicago Prohibition Bureau (1927-29)
    Assigned to enforce Volstead Prohibition Act in Chicago by Department of Justice (1929-31)
    Worked for Department of Treasury (1933-35)
    Safety Director for Cleveland, Ohio (1935-41)
    Published 'The Untouchables (1957)'
    Aside from going after Al Capone and the Chicago mafia, the rest of his public service career is virtually ignored.
    Some critics say he only went after Capone because he was an 'egomaniac' who craved public attention.
    Some historians believe the Internal Revenue Service should get credit for bringing down Capone instead of him.
    Several assassination attempts were made on his life and one of his friends was murdered by the Chicago mafia.
    Despite making a career of enforcing Prohibition, he was involved in an alcohol related automobile accident.
    He was criticized for not catching Cleveland's 'Mad Butcher' serial killer, who allegedly killed 23 people.
    He unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Cleveland.
    He was married three times and divorced twice.
    He was not afraid to go after Al Capone at a time when the mafia had great influence in Chicago.
    He successfully used wire tapping and federal raids to shut down 19 of Capone's illegal breweries.
    In addition to the mafia, he also went after corrupt police officers in Chicago and Cleveland.
    His agents were called 'The Untouchables' because they refused to accept bribes from the mafia.
    His book 'The Untouchables' spawned a popular television series and feature film starring Kevin Costner.
    After he took over as Cleveland's Safety Director, crime in Cleveland dropped 38%.
    In addition to Prohibition, he also worked to curtail gambling and prostitution.
    He earned a Masters Degree in Criminology from the University of Chicago (1927).

Credit: D


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