Charles Dean O'Banion
Obanion large.jpg


Charles Dean O'Banion July 8, 1892 Maroa, Illinois, U.S.


November 10, 1924 (aged 32) Chicago, Illinois, U.S.





Cause of death

Homicide/Shot to death

Resting place

Mount Carmel Cemetery

"We 're big business without high hats" - Charles Dean O'Banion

Charles Dean O'Banion (8 July 1892 – 10 November 1924) was an Irish-American mobster who was the main rival of Johnny Torrio and Al Capone during the brutal Chicago bootlegging wars of the 1920s. The newspapers of his day made him better known as Dion O'Banion, although he never went by that name.

Life of Banion[edit | edit source]

Charles Dean O'Banion was born July 8, 1892 in the small town of Maroa, Illinois. At age six his mother died and the family moved to the district Kilgubbin in Chicago. The area often known as Little Hell was widely known for its crime and Deanie, as he was called by his friends were attracted by the excitement and adventure on the streets. Together with his friends Hymie Weiss, Vincent Drucci, and George "Bugs" Moran joined Deanie to youth gang Market Street Gang, which among other things, busy with stealing and then selling stolen goods.

The living also to threaten and beat up newsstand owner who refused to sell the newspaper they represented. Initially they worked for the Chicago Tribune but with the promise of better pay from the mafia boss Moses Annenberg changed the page to the rival Chicago Examiner. The Annenberg Deanie was introduced into the criminal underworld and got acquainted with people who could teach them the profession.

Growing up singing O'Banion periodically in a boys' choir at Holy Name Cathedral. This gave him the opportunity to work at the fashionable restaurant McGovern 's Liberty Inn by singing waiters. While he enthralled the guests with his song he picked to become accustomed to tets out of jacket pocket. When the restaurant closed, he too the help of his cronies, and robbed the most intoxicated guests.

In connection with the liquor ban was introduced in the U.S. during the 20's took O 'Banion his chance and smuggled large quantities of beer, whiskey and gin from the neighboring country of Canada to the north. This made him a very wealthy man and more and more powerful gangsters joined to his cohorts. Possible rival gangs in Chicago's northern parts were destroyed and he finally controlled the entire North Side and Gold Coast areas. O 'Banions growing power, wealth and territorial claims also created many enemies. Among the competing organizations operating in the south of the city, Chicago Outfits. They appeared in the same area and wanted to have their share of the lucrative market that had emerged from Prohibition. The rival gang's boss, Johnny Torrio and Al Capone looked very favorably on O 'Banions rampage.

On 10 November 1924, in connection with the funeral of Mike Merlo, leader of the Unione Siciliana (a political organization that guarded the interests of Italian immigrants), visited Frankie Yale and his cronies, John Scalise and Albert Anselmi florist Schofield 's owned by O'Banion and served as headquarters for his operations. The moment the Yale took his hand to greet O'Banion operated by six shots that struck him in the chest and face. He died instantly.

O 'Banions death resulted in a clash between rival criminal organizations in the north and south of Chicago. A tension has not subsided until Valentine's Day Massacre 1929.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.