Torrio Mausoleum

John “Papa Johnny” Torrio
February 1882 – April 16, 1957

Johnny Torrio had a relatively long life, especially considering his checkered provenance. Johnny Torrio was born in the village of Irsina, Italy then his family immigrated to America when he was two. He grew up in the Lower East Side, becoming involved in the Five Points Gang as a teenager. He quickly developed into a cold, calculating, cunning and crafty criminal. Hence his other Mob nickname “the Fox”. Torrio became, by all accounts wildly successful in his less-than-mainstream profession of running various Mob rackets. He moved to Chicago in 1918 taking his understudy, one Alphonse Capone along with him. Torrio and Capone worked together throughout the 1920’s presiding over the Chicago Outfit. They became multimillionaires running various operations including a bootlegging, gambling and prostitution.

But as with all businesses there were conflicts and rivalries with other businessmen. On January 24th 1925 a group of Chicago businessmen known as the North Side Gang attempted to take over Torrio’s business by eliminating him. As Torrio was driving home from a shopping trip with his wife, Anna he was greeting by a hail of gunfire initiated by North Side Gang members Earl “Hymie” Weiss and George “Bugs” Moran. Although Torrio was severely wounded he managed to survive. Shortly thereafter Torrio officially retired and moved to Italy. However, Torrio returned to the United States in the 1930’s and continued to serve as an elder statesman and advisor to the Mob. He died of a heart attack while getting a haircut. Wary to the end, he was seated “Chicago style” (facing the door).
Text and photo © Douglas Keister Visit Doug’s Author Page

[address cemetery=”Green-Wood Cemetery” street=”Willow Avenue” city=”Brooklyn” state=”New York” zip=”11218″]

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