Updated: Jan 28, 2022
Born: May 24 or June 15th, 1908, Chicago, Illinois. Died: June 19th, 1975, Oak Park, Illinois. Birthname: Gilormo Giangana Nicknames: Momo, Mooney
Associates: Joseph Esposito, Tony “Joe Batters” Accardo, The Kennedy Family, The Chicago Outfit, The 42 Gang, Tony “Joe Batters” Accardo, The CIA
Sam Giancana was a ruthless mobster that was willing to do anything to stay in control. Giancana would eventually become the leader of one of the most nefarious American Mobs known as the Chicago Outfit, which was initially managed by the famous mobster Al Capone.
Giancana was born on May 24th, 1908 (though it is debatable that his actual birthday was on June 15th, which is the same day he celebrated) to an Italian immigrant family with seven siblings. He was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and at a young age, Giancana would establish a notorious affiliation with the 42 Gang that worked under the corrupt politician Joseph Esposito.
By the time Giancana was 20, he had already been arrested for grand theft auto and is believed to have killed at least three people, but the court of law could not prove it because an unknown assailant killed the key witness the day before the trial. However, Giancana was found guilty of other crimes, some of which included illegal still, larceny, car theft, and burglary. In 1929 he would be convicted and sentenced to five years at Joliet Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois. Giancana would be released three years later in 1932.
After getting out of prison, Giancana proceeded to expand and dominate the illegal underground market in Chicago and would be the first member of the 42 Gang to join the Chicago Outfit. The 42 Gang would eventually wholly dissolve into the Chicago Outfit sometime after its founder Joseph Esposito’s death. Giancana would control almost all illegal business going on in Chicago during the late 1930s through the 1950s. These nefarious businesses included illegal racketeering, unlawful distribution of alcohol, corrupt political rackets, and many more illicit practices.
A significant reason for Giancana’s success was his tactic of murdering rival competition. He was ruthless but was always willing to do what needed to be done to stay in control. There was a point in Giancana’s career that he had a revenue of over a million dollars a year. Even without calculating for inflation, Giancana would find himself a self-made millionaire.
In 1957 Giancana was anointed as the Chicago Outfit leader by Tony “Joe Batters” Accardo. He would continue to grow his underground business and eventually gained John Kennedy’s interest, who was running bootlegging operations. John Kenndey sought aid in helping his son, John F. Kennedy, win the 1961 presidential election. It is theorized that Giancana helped a great deal in getting JFK elected and eventually helped in an attempted assassination of Fidel Castro.
Conspiracy theorists also believe that Giancana and the mob are tied to the assassination of John F. Kennedy due to his brother’s political bombardment on the mob. In the 1960s, Giancana would establish a partnership with the CIA and Panama to smuggle arms into the Middle East. In 1965, Giancana would be jailed for denial to testify in court and eventually have his control over the Chicago Outfit taken from him due to his prevalence in mass media.
Without much else, Giancana would flee to Mexico but return after being arrested and deported in 1974. He would finally testify about the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro. The next year, on June 19th, 1975, Giancana would be found dead in his home while cooking in his kitchen basement.
An unknown assailant shot Giancana seven times in the head the night before meeting with the Church Committee and testified about the CIA and Cosa Nostra collusion.
Blog Written by: Sean Harless for @ MobCity Productions.