Papa Johnny Torrio, Italian-American Mobster

- Image ID: HRP5MF
Papa Johnny Torrio, Italian-American Mobster
Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: HRP5MF
Torrio, center, holding cigar. John "Papa Johnny" Torrio (January 20, 1882 - April 16, 1957) was an Italian-American mobster. Prohibition was established in 1920 which banned the distribution of alcoholic beverages. As the 1920s progressed, Torrio presided over the expansion of the Chicago Outfit as it raked in millions from gambling, prostitution, and now bootlegging. The Outfit controlled the Loop and much of the South Side, but they were intent on seizing the profitable Gold Coast territory from the North Side Gang led by Dean O'Banion. O'Banion's murder sparked a bloody, brutal gangland war between the North Side Gang and the Outfit that eventually chased Torrio out of Chicago. He put forth the idea of the National Crime Syndicate in the 1930s and later became an unofficial adviser to the Genovese crime family. In 1957, Torrio had a heart attack in Brooklyn while sitting in a barber's chair waiting for a haircut. He was 75 years old. No photographer credited, undated.