The Most Infamous Irish Mobsters of All Time People
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The Most Infamous Irish Mobsters of All Time

List of famous Irish gangsters in America, with photos and even a few mug shots of the Irish mobsters. From bootleggers to syndicate bosses, the most infamous gangsters from Ireland represent some of the worst criminals in history. These Irish mob bosses and enforcers were on the wrong side of the law for years, and now they're compiled into an infamous Irish mobsters list.

Who are the worst Irish mobsters? These are the notorious godfathers – the top crime bosses from the Irish mob and associated crime syndicates, listed from earliest to most recent. Who are the most infamous Irish mobsters in U.S. history? Narrowing down a list isn't easy. From Chicago to Boston to Philadelphia, Irish mobsters have controlled everything from bootlegging (during Prohibition years) to horse racing, and everything in-between.

This list of gangsters includes all of the top Irish mobsters in U.S. crime history. From Bulger to Spillane, check out this list of infamous Irish mob members and learn how these mob kings rose to infamy.

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    James 'Big Jim' O'Leary

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    Big Jim O'Leary was a powerful Irish mob boss in Chicago for over a decade, controlling gambling on the city's South Side with an iron fist.

    His criminal career started as a teenager, when O'Leary worked for bookies in Long Beach, Indiana. He later began operating his own illegal gambling ring on the steamship The City of Traverse on Lake Michigan. Both of these early operations failed to gain traction, largely because of O'Leary's refusal to pay off local police. He only found financial success following the death of Chicago crime lord Michael Cassius MacDonald, which led to O'Leary's assuming control of gambling in Chicago's South Side in the 1890's.

    And yes, if the O'Leary/Chicago connection seems familiar, it should: Big Jim's parents, Patrick and Catherine O'Leary, owned the barn where the infamous Great Chicago Fire in 1871 is thought to have started. Though it's never been proven, their cow was supposedly the arsonist responsible.

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