Frank Nitti
Overview
Francesco Raffaele Nitto (January 27, 1886 – March 19, 1943), also known as Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti, was an Italian American
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

 gangster
Gangster
A gangster is a criminal who is a member of a gang. Some gangs are considered to be part of organized crime. Gangsters are also called mobsters, a term derived from mob and the suffix -ster....

. One of Al Capone
Al Capone
Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate. The Chicago Outfit, which subsequently became known as the "Capones", was dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging liquor, and other illegal activities such as prostitution, in Chicago from the early...

's top henchmen, Nitti was in charge of all strong-arm and 'muscle' operations. Nitti was later the front-man for the Chicago Outfit
Chicago Outfit
The Chicago Outfit, also known as the Chicago Syndicate or Chicago Mob and sometimes shortened to simply the Outfit, is a crime syndicate based in Chicago, Illinois, USA...

, the organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 syndicate headed by Capone.
Nitti was born in the small town of Angri
Angri
Angri is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, Campania, Italy. It was the native town of Teresina Raiola, who, after emigrating to the United States and marrying, became the mother of Al Capone, the future American gangster. It was also the native town of Capone's successor, Frank Nitti....

, province of Salerno
Province of Salerno
The Province of Salerno is a province in the Campania region of Italy.-Geography:The largest towns in the province are: Salerno, the capital, which has a population of 139,579; Cava de' Tirreni with a population of 53,488; Battipaglia with a population of 51,115; and Nocera Inferiore which has a...

, Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. He was the second child of Luigi and Rosina (Fezza) Nitto and a first cousin of Al Capone.
Encyclopedia
Francesco Raffaele Nitto (January 27, 1886 – March 19, 1943), also known as Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti, was an Italian American
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

 gangster
Gangster
A gangster is a criminal who is a member of a gang. Some gangs are considered to be part of organized crime. Gangsters are also called mobsters, a term derived from mob and the suffix -ster....

. One of Al Capone
Al Capone
Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate. The Chicago Outfit, which subsequently became known as the "Capones", was dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging liquor, and other illegal activities such as prostitution, in Chicago from the early...

's top henchmen, Nitti was in charge of all strong-arm and 'muscle' operations. Nitti was later the front-man for the Chicago Outfit
Chicago Outfit
The Chicago Outfit, also known as the Chicago Syndicate or Chicago Mob and sometimes shortened to simply the Outfit, is a crime syndicate based in Chicago, Illinois, USA...

, the organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 syndicate headed by Capone.

Early life and Prohibition

Nitti was born in the small town of Angri
Angri
Angri is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, Campania, Italy. It was the native town of Teresina Raiola, who, after emigrating to the United States and marrying, became the mother of Al Capone, the future American gangster. It was also the native town of Capone's successor, Frank Nitti....

, province of Salerno
Province of Salerno
The Province of Salerno is a province in the Campania region of Italy.-Geography:The largest towns in the province are: Salerno, the capital, which has a population of 139,579; Cava de' Tirreni with a population of 53,488; Battipaglia with a population of 51,115; and Nocera Inferiore which has a...

, Campania
Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. He was the second child of Luigi and Rosina (Fezza) Nitto and a first cousin of Al Capone. His father died in 1888, when Frank was two years old, and within a year his mother married Francesco Dolendo. Although two children were born to the couple, neither survived — leaving Francesco and his older sister, Giovannina, the only children. Francesco Dolendo emigrated to the United States in July 1890, and the rest of the family followed in June 1893 when Nitti was 7. The family settled at 113 Navy Street, Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Little Francesco attended public school and worked odd jobs after school to support the family. His 15-year-old sister married a 24-year-old man and his mother gave birth to his half-brother Raphael in 1894, and another child, Gennaro, in 1896. He quit school after the seventh grade, and worked as a pinsetter
Pinsetter
In bowling, a pinsetter, or pinspotter, was originally a person who manually reset bowling pins to their correct position, cleared fallen pins, and returned bowling balls to players...

, factory worker, and barber. Al Capone's family lived nearby, and Nitti was friends with Capone's older brothers and their criminal gang (the Navy Street Boys).

A worsening relationship with Dolendo provoked him to leave home when he was 14 in 1900 to work in various local factories. Around 1910, at the age of 24, he left Brooklyn. The next several years of his life are poorly documented, and little can be ascertained for certain. He may have worked in the Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, bordering Greenpoint to the north, Bedford-Stuyvesant to the south, Bushwick to the east and the East River to the west. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 1. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD's 90th ...

 neighborhood of Brooklyn around 1911. He probably moved to Chicago around 1913, working as a barber and making the acquaintance of gangsters Alex Louis Greenberg and Dean O'Banion
Dean O'Banion
Charles Dean O'Banion 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...

. He married Chicagoan Rosa (Rose) Levitt in Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Dallas is the third-largest city in Texas and the ninth-largest in the United States. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the largest metropolitan area in the South and fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States...

, on October 18, 1917. The couple's movements after their marriage remain uncertain. He is known to have become a partner in the Galveston crime syndicate
Free State of Galveston
The Free State of Galveston was a whimsical name given to the island city of Galveston in the U.S. state of Texas during the early-to-mid-20th century. Today, the term is sometimes used to describe the culture and history of that era...

 run by "Johnny" Jack Nounes
Johnny Jack Nounes
"Johnny" Jack Nounes, also known as the "Beau Brummel of Galveston," was a gang leader in Galveston, Texas in the United States during the early 1900s. He, with George Musey, led the Downtown Gang, one of the two gangs which controlled most of the Galveston underworld until the mid 1920s...

. He is reported to have stolen a large sum of money from Nounes and fellow mobster Dutch Voight
Dutch Voight
Dutch Voight was a German American gang leader in Galveston, Texas in the United States during the early 1900s. Voight was called Dutch for Deutsch meaning German. He, with Ollie Quinn, led the Beach Gang, one of the two gangs which controlled most of the Galveston underworld until the mid 1920s...

, after which Nitti fled to Chicago. By 1918, Nitti had settled there at 914 South Halsted Street. Nitti quickly renewed his contacts with Greenberg and O'Banion, becoming a jewel thief, liquor smuggler
Rum-running
Rum-running, also known as bootlegging, is the illegal business of transporting alcoholic beverages where such transportation is forbidden by law...

, and fence
Fence (criminal)
A fence is an individual who knowingly buys stolen property for later resale, sometimes in a legitimate market. The fence thus acts as a middleman between thieves and the eventual buyers of stolen goods who may or may not be aware that the goods are stolen. As a verb, the word describes the...

. Through his liquor smuggling activities, Nitti came to the attention of Chicago crime boss
Crime boss
A crime boss or boss is a person in charge of a criminal organization. A boss typically has absolute or near-absolute control over his subordinates, is greatly feared by his subordinates for his ruthlessness and willingness to take lives in order to exert his influence, and profits come from the...

 Johnny "Papa Johnny" Torrio
Johnny Torrio
John "Papa Johnny" Torrio , also known as "The Fox", was an Italian-American mobster who helped build the criminal empire known as the Chicago Outfit in the 1920s that was later inherited by his protege, Al Capone...

 and Torrio's newly-arrived soldier
Soldato
A Soldato is the lowest level of the formal Mafia hierarchy, both in America and in Sicily. However, a soldier is much greater in rank and prestige than any ordinary associate of the crime family. In order to become a soldier, the primary requisite for an associate is to become a made man...

, Al Capone.

Under Torrio's successor, Al Capone, Nitti's reputation soared. Nitti ran Capone's liquor smuggling and distribution operation, importing whisky
Whisky
Whisky or whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Different grains are used for different varieties, including barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, and corn...

 from Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and selling it through a network of speakeasies
Speakeasy
A speakeasy, also called a blind pig or blind tiger, is an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages. Such establishments came into prominence in the United States during the period known as Prohibition...

 around Chicago. Nitti was one of Capone's top lieutenants, trusted for his leadership skills and business acumen. Capone thought so highly of Nitti that when he went to prison in 1929, he named Nitti as a member of a triumvirate
Triumvirate
A triumvirate is a political regime dominated by three powerful individuals, each a triumvir . The arrangement can be formal or informal, and though the three are usually equal on paper, in reality this is rarely the case...

 that ran the mob in his place. Nitti was head of operations, with Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik
Jake Guzik
Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik was the financial and legal advisor, and later political “greaser”, for the Chicago Outfit.-Early life:...

 as head of administration and Tony "Joe Batters" Accardo
Tony Accardo
Antonino Joseph Accardo , also known as "Joe Batters" or "Big Tuna", rose from small-time hoodlum to the position of day-to-day boss of the Chicago Outfit in 1947, to ultimately become the final Outfit authority in 1972, until his death...

 as head of enforcement. Despite his nickname ("The Enforcer"), Nitti used Mafia soldiers and others to commit violence rather than do it himself. In earlier days, Nitti had been one of Capone's trusted personal bodyguards, but as he rose in the organization, Nitti's business instinct dictated that he must personally avoid the "dirty work"—that was what the hitmen
Hitman
A hitman is a person hired to kill another person.- Hitmen in organized crime :Hitmen are largely linked to the world of organized crime. Hitmen are hired people who kill people for money. Notable examples include Murder, Inc., Mafia hitmen and Richard Kuklinski.- Other cases involving hitmen...

 were paid for.

Frank and Rose Nitti divorced in 1928, and shortly thereafter he married Anna Ronga Nitti (daughter of a mob doctor and former neighbor of the Nittis in the 1920s). The couple adopted a son, Joe.

The Outfit under Nitti

In 1931, both 45 year-old Frank Nitti and 32 year-old Al Capone were convicted of tax evasion
Tax evasion
Tax evasion is the general term for efforts by individuals, corporations, trusts and other entities to evade taxes by illegal means. Tax evasion usually entails taxpayers deliberately misrepresenting or concealing the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability,...

 and sent to prison; however, Nitti received an 18-month sentence, while Capone was sent away for 11 years. Nitti was not a troublesome prisoner, but found the year-and-a-half confinement in a cell difficult because of the closed-in space. When Nitti was released in 1932, the media hailed him as the new boss of the Capone Gang.

In truth, however, Nitti was only a front man. According to crime historians, "it was ludicrous" to expect people such as Tony Accardo
Tony Accardo
Antonino Joseph Accardo , also known as "Joe Batters" or "Big Tuna", rose from small-time hoodlum to the position of day-to-day boss of the Chicago Outfit in 1947, to ultimately become the final Outfit authority in 1972, until his death...

, Jake Guzik
Jake Guzik
Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik was the financial and legal advisor, and later political “greaser”, for the Chicago Outfit.-Early life:...

, Murray "The Camel" Humphreys
Murray Humphreys
Llewelyn Morris Humphreys , was a Chicago mobster of Welsh descent who was the chief political and labor racketeer in the Chicago Outfit during Prohibition...

, or Paul "The Waiter" Ricca
Paul Ricca
Paul Ricca, also known as "The Waiter" , was a Chicago mobster who served as the nominal or de facto leader of the Chicago Outfit for forty years.-Early life:...

 to take orders from Nitti. By all accounts, Ricca had the real power by at least 1932 and was clearly the de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 boss by 1939 even though he was technically Nitti's underboss
Underboss
Underboss is a position within the leadership structure of Sicilian and American Mafia crime families. The underboss is second in command to the boss...

. When Charles "Lucky" Luciano
Lucky Luciano
Charlie "Lucky" Luciano was an Italian mobster born in Sicily. Luciano is considered the father of modern organized crime in the United States for splitting New York City into five different Mafia crime families and the establishment of the first commission...

 and Meyer Lansky
Meyer Lansky
Meyer Lansky , known as the "Mob's Accountant", was a Polish-born American organized crime figure who, along with his associate Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the "National Crime Syndicate" in the United States...

 organized the National Crime Syndicate
National Crime Syndicate
The National Crime Syndicate was the name given by the press to a loosely-organized multi-ethnic organized crime syndicate. Its origins are uncertain....

 in the 1930s, they considered Nitti a human cypher. Lansky and Luciano dealt with Ricca, not Nitti, as the boss of the Chicago Outfit.

With Nitti as the front man, the Chicago Outfit branched out from prostitution
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

 and gambling
Gambling
Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods...

 into other areas, including control of labor unions
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 (which led to the extortion
Extortion
Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

 of many businesses). On December 19, 1932, a team of Chicago police, headed by Detective
Detective
A detective is an investigator, either a member of a police agency or a private person. The latter may be known as private investigators or "private eyes"...

 Sergeants Harry Lang and Harry Miller, raided Nitti's office in Room 554, at 221 N. LaSalle Boulevard in Chicago. Lang shot Nitti three times in the back and neck. He then shot himself (a minor flesh wound) to make the shooting look like self-defense, claiming that Nitti had shot him first. Court testimony later insisted that the murder attempt was personally ordered by newly-elected Chicago Mayor
Mayor of Chicago
The Mayor of Chicago is the chief executive of Chicago, Illinois, the third largest city in the United States. He or she is charged with directing city departments and agencies, and with the advice and consent of the Chicago City Council, appoints department and agency leaders.-Appointment...

 Anton Cermak
Anton Cermak
Anton Joseph Cermak was the mayor of Chicago, Illinois, from 1931 until his assassination by Giuseppe Zangara in 1933.-Early life and career:...

, who supposedly wanted to eliminate the Chicago Outfit in favor of gangsters who answered to him. Nitti survived the shooting and, in February 1933, was acquitted
Acquittal
In the common law tradition, an acquittal formally certifies the accused is free from the charge of an offense, as far as the criminal law is concerned. This is so even where the prosecution is abandoned nolle prosequi...

 of attempted murder. During that same trial, Miller testified that Lang received $
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

15,000 to kill Nitti. Another uniformed officer who was present at the shooting testified that Nitti was shot while unarmed. Harry Lang and Harry Miller were both fired from the police force and each fined US$100 for simple assault
Assault
In law, assault is a crime causing a victim to fear violence. The term is often confused with battery, which involves physical contact. The specific meaning of assault varies between countries, but can refer to an act that causes another to apprehend immediate and personal violence, or in the more...

. Two months later, Cermak was shot and killed by Giuseppe Zangara
Giuseppe Zangara
Giuseppe Zangara was the assassin of Chicago mayor Anton Cermak, though United States President–elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt may have been his intended target. Roosevelt escaped injury, but five people were shot including Cermak.- Early life :Zangara was born in Ferruzzano, Calabria, Italy...

, a Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

n immigrant. At the time, Cermak was talking to President-elect
President-elect of the United States
President-elect of the United States is the title used for an incoming President of the United States in the period between the general election on Election Day in November and noon eastern standard time on Inauguration Day, January 20, during which he is not in office yet...

 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

. Most historians believe, corroborated by Zangara's own comments and a note left behind at his room, that he intended to kill Roosevelt but missed and hit Cermak instead.

Anna Nitti died in 1938. On November 8, 1939, Capone's former lawyer Edward J. O'Hare
Edward J. O'Hare
Edward Joseph O'Hare , aka "Easy Eddie" , was a lawyer in St. Louis and later in Chicago, where he began working with Al Capone, and later helped federal prosecutors convict Capone of tax evasion. In 1939, a week before Capone was released from Alcatraz, O'Hare was shot to death while driving...

 — who had co-operated in bringing about Capone's downfall — was shot and killed. Nitti married Ursula Sue Granata, O'Hare's fiancée, who died in 1940. He married Annette Caravetta on May 14, 1942.

Death

In 1943, many top members of the Chicago Outfit were indicted for extorting
Extortion
Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

 the Hollywood film industry
Cinema of the United States
The cinema of the United States, also known as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period...

. Among those prosecuted were Nitti, Phil D'Andrea, Louis "Little New York" Campagna
Louis Campagna
Louis "Little New York" Campagna was a New York mobster and a high ranking member of the Chicago Outfit for over three decades.-Early years:...

, Nick Circella, Charles "Cherry Nose" Gioe
Charles Gioe
Charles "Cherry Nose" Gioe was a lieutenant in the Chicago Outfit criminal organization and a partner in the Hollywood extortion scandals of the 1930s....

, Ralph Pierce, Ricca, and John "Handsome Johnny" Roselli
John Roselli
John "Handsome Johnny" Roselli , sometimes spelled John Rosselli, was an influential mobster for the Chicago Outfit who helped them control Hollywood and the Las Vegas Strip. Roselli was also involved with the Central Intelligence Agency plot to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the early 1960s...

. The Outfit was accused of trying to extort money from some of the largest movie studios, including Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company. Columbia Pictures now forms part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. It is one of the leading film companies...

, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer...

, Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

, RKO Pictures
RKO Pictures
RKO Pictures is an American film production and distribution company. As RKO Radio Pictures Inc., it was one of the Big Five studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The business was formed after the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chains and Joseph P...

, and 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

. The studios had cooperated with The Outfit to avoid union trouble (unrest itself stirred up by the mob). At a meeting of Outfit leaders at Nitti's home, Ricca blamed Nitti for the indictments. Ricca said that since this had been Nitti's scheme and the FBI
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 informant (Willie Bioff) one of Nitti's trusted associates, Nitti should go to prison. A severe claustrophobe
Claustrophobia
Claustrophobia is the fear of having no escape and being closed in small spaces or rooms...

 as a result of his first prison term, Nitti dreaded the idea of another prison confinement. It was also rumored that he was suffering from terminal cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 at this time. For these or possibly other reasons, he ultimately decided to take his own life.

The day before his scheduled grand jury
Grand jury
A grand jury is a type of jury that determines whether a criminal indictment will issue. Currently, only the United States retains grand juries, although some other common law jurisdictions formerly employed them, and most other jurisdictions employ some other type of preliminary hearing...

 appearance, Nitti had breakfast with his wife in their home at 712 Selborne Road in Riverside, Illinois
Riverside, Illinois
Riverside is an affluent suburban village in Cook County, Illinois. A significant portion of the village is in the Riverside Landscape Architecture District, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970. The population was 8,895 at the 2000 census...

. When his wife left for church, Nitti told her he planned to take a walk, then began to drink heavily. He then loaded a .32 caliber
Caliber
In guns including firearms, caliber or calibre is the approximate internal diameter of the barrel in relation to the diameter of the projectile used in it....

 revolver
Revolver
A revolver is a repeating firearm that has a cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. The first revolver ever made was built by Elisha Collier in 1818. The percussion cap revolver was invented by Samuel Colt in 1836. This weapon became known as the Colt Paterson...

, put it in his coat pocket, and walked five blocks to a local railroad yard. Two railroad workers spotted Nitti walking on the track of an oncoming train and shouted a warning. They thought the train hit him, but Nitti jumped out of the way in time. Two shots rang out. The workers thought Nitti was shooting at them, then realized he was trying to shoot himself in the head. Two bullets went through Nitti's hat. Nitti sat on the ground against a fence and, with the railroad workers watching from a distance, shot himself in the head.

Frank Nitti died on an Illinois Central railroad branch line in North Riverside, Illinois
North Riverside, Illinois
North Riverside is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 6,688 at the 2000 census.-Geography:North Riverside is located at ....

 on March 19, 1943, at the age of 57. Nitti is buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois
Hillside, Illinois
Hillside is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 8,155 at the 2000 census.One notable landmark in Hillside is the Mount Carmel Cemetery. On the grounds of the cemetery are the graves of a number of organized crime figures, such as Al Capone and Dion O'Bannion...

. Speculation has persisted regarding the interment of a suicide in a Catholic cemetery. Nitti's grave can be found left of the main Roosevelt Road entrance, about fifty feet from the gate. It is marked "Nitto". To the right of the gate is the family plot containing the grave of Al Capone, marked by a six-foot white monument stone. And straight up from the gate can be found the graves of Dion O'Banion and Hymie Weiss
Hymie Weiss
Hymie Weiss was a Polish-American mob boss who became a leader of the Prohibition-era North Side Gang and a bitter rival of Al Capone.-Early years:...

, both North Side Gang
North Side Gang
The North Side family Gang, also known as the North Side Mob, was the dominant Irish-American criminal organization within Chicago during the Prohibition era from the early to late 1920s and principal rival of the Johnny Torrio-Al Capone organization, later known as the Chicago Outfit.- Early...

 leaders ordered killed by Capone.

In popular culture

Frank Nitti has been portrayed numerous times in television and motion pictures:
  • by Bruce Gordon
    Bruce Gordon (actor)
    Bruce Gordon was an American actor best known for playing Frank Nitti in the ABC television series The Untouchables....

     in many episodes of the original ABC
    American Broadcasting Company
    The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

     television series The Untouchables
    The Untouchables (1959 TV series)
    The Untouchables is an American crime drama that ran from 1959 to 1963 on ABC. Based on the memoir of the same name by Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley, it fictionalized the experiences of Eliot Ness, a real-life Prohibition agent, as he fought crime in Chicago during the 1930s with the help of a...

    , based on Eliot Ness
    Eliot Ness
    Eliot Ness was an American Prohibition agent, famous for his efforts to enforce Prohibition in Chicago, Illinois, and the leader of a legendary team of law enforcement agents nicknamed The Untouchables.- Early life :...

    ' memoirs, which ran from 1959 to 1963.
  • by Harold J. Stone in the 1967 Roger Corman
    Roger Corman
    Roger William Corman is an American film producer, director and actor. He has mostly worked on low-budget B movies. Some of Corman's work has an established critical reputation, such as his cycle of films adapted from the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, and in 2009 he won an Honorary Academy Award for...

     film The St. Valentine's Day Massacre
    The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (film)
    The St. Valentine's Day Massacre is a 1967 gangster film based on the 1929 Chicago mass murder of seven members of the Northside gang, directed against George "Bugs" Moran by Al Capone...

    .
  • by Sylvester Stallone
    Sylvester Stallone
    Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

     in the 1975 film Capone
    Capone (film)
    Capone is an American crime film directed by Steve Carver and stars Ben Gazzara, Harry Guardino, Susan Blakely and Sylvester Stallone in an early film appearance. The movie is a biography of the infamous Al Capone, although much of it is supposedly fiction.The film was released on DVD in the U.S...

    .
  • by Billy Drago
    Billy Drago
    Billy Drago is an American actor known for his roles as villains in television and motion pictures.-Personal life:Drago was born William Eugene Burrows in Hugoton, Kansas to William and Gladys Burrows. He took his grandmother's maiden name as his stage name to keep from being confused with another...

    , playing a fictionalised version of Nitti in the 1987 film, The Untouchables
    The Untouchables (1987 film)
    The Untouchables is a 1987 American crime-drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by David Mamet. Based on the book The Untouchables, the film stars Kevin Costner as government agent Eliot Ness. It also stars Robert De Niro as gang leader Al Capone and Sean Connery as Irish-American...

    . In the film, Nitti is thrown off a Chicago courthouse roof by Ness (Kevin Costner
    Kevin Costner
    Kevin Michael Costner is an American actor, singer, musician, producer, director, and businessman. He has been nominated for three BAFTA Awards, won two Academy Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards. Costner's roles include Lt. John J...

    ), an event which never happened in real life.
  • by Anthony LaPaglia
    Anthony LaPaglia
    Anthony M. LaPaglia is an Australian actor. He is known for his role as FBI agent Jack Malone on the American TV series Without a Trace, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama...

     in the 1988 biopic Nitti: The Enforcer
  • by Paul Regina in the 1993 TV show The Untouchables
    The Untouchables (1993 TV series)
    The Untouchables is an American crime drama series that aired for two seasons in syndication, from January 1993 to May 1994. The series portrayed work of the real life Untouchables federal investigative squad in Prohibition-era Chicago and its efforts against Al Capone's attempts to profit from the...

    .
  • by Stanley Tucci
    Stanley Tucci
    Stanley Tucci is an American actor, writer, film producer and film director. He has been nominated for several notable film awards, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance in The Lovely Bones...

     in the 2002 film Road to Perdition
    Road to Perdition
    Road to Perdition is a 2002 American crime film directed by Sam Mendes. The screenplay was adapted by David Self, from the graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins. The film stars Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, and Daniel Craig...

    .
  • by Bill Camp in the 2009 film Public Enemies.


Antero Niittymäki
Antero Niittymäki
Antero Pertti Elias Niittymäki is a Finnish professional ice hockey goaltender who is currently a member of the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League. He has previously played for the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning, as well as in the SM-liiga and the American Hockey League...

 has used an image of Nitti on his helmet due to the similarity in name.

See also

  • Free State of Galveston
    Free State of Galveston
    The Free State of Galveston was a whimsical name given to the island city of Galveston in the U.S. state of Texas during the early-to-mid-20th century. Today, the term is sometimes used to describe the culture and history of that era...

  • History of vice in Texas
    History of vice in Texas
    The history of vice in the U.S. state of Texas has been an important part of the state's past and has greatly influenced its development. Vice activities, such as gambling and prostitution, have historically been a significant facet of both the state's culture and its economy.Law enforcement...

  • Organized crime
    Organized crime
    Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

  • Organized crime in Chicago
    Organized crime in Chicago
    The following is a timeline of Organized Crime in Chicago.-1910s:*1910 - Chicago police arrest over 200 known Italian gangsters and known Black Hand members in a raid in Little Italy...

  • Sicilian American

Further reading

  • Binder, John J. The Chicago Outfit. Arcadia Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-7385-2326-7
  • Humble, Ronald D. Frank Nitti: The True Story of Chicago's Notorious Enforcer. Barricade Books, 2007. ISBN 978-1-56980-342-4

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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