||Chicago| Gus Alex
Birth: April 1, 1916 - Chicago
Death: July 24, 1998 - Chicago
Gus Alex was a Chicago mobster and high ranking member of the Chicago Outfit, who succeeded Jack Guzik as the syndicate's main political "fixer", known as a connection guy.
Born into a Greek-American family in Chicago, Illinois, on April 1, 1916, Alex joined the Chicago Outfit in the late 1920s, after dropping out of high school in his second year. Working primarily for Capone lieutenant Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik, he would later become his protégé as he rose through the ranks of the Chicago crime syndicate. By 1930, he was suspected in the deaths of at least five unsolved murder cases. Two of the alleged victims, later dying of their injuries in hospital, identified Alex as their assailant as well as three others who were killed after reporting to police extortion and death threats sent by Alex.
From Guzik's protege to Syndicate fixer
Under Guzik's guidance, Alex became experienced in securing syndicate protection through bribery of city officials. By the mid-1940s, Alex was the main liaison between the Chicago Outfit and city hall officials. Granted control of the Loop's illegal gambling and prostitution operations, including a lucrative call girl operation out of prominent downtown hotels (of which many call girls were paid up to $500 to $1,000) Alex's operations brought in an estimated $1 million a month for the syndicate. Described as "one of the wiliest and slickest crooks" within the Chicago Outfit, Alex would decline to answer questions under the Fifth Amendment over thirty nine times during his appearance before the McClellan Committee. During the 1960s, Alex would come under suspicion during his annual ski trips to Switzerland as the US government accused Alex of depositing syndicate money in unnumbered Swiss bank accounts. As a result of the US governments protest (although Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen and Congressman William M. Dawson opposed government action calling to allow Alex to continue his "sporting trips"), Swiss officials banned Alex from entering Switzerland for ten years.
Remaining a high ranking member of the Chicago Outfit for over thirty years, Alex would retain his position throughout the reigns of Paul "The Waiter" Ricca, Anthony Accardo, and Sam Giancana. Alex would continue to consolidate his political influence during the 1970s and 1980s not only within Chicago but expanding into the state capital Springfield, Illinois. An invaluable resource, Alex's political connections would ensure his position with the organization during the unstable leadership of the decade. During syndicate leader Joseph Aiuppa imprisonment, Alex would share overseeing day-to-day activities with Underboss Sam Carlisi (being supervised by former leader Accardo based in Palm Springs, California). He died in Federal Prison after Lenny Patrick, a close associate, wore a wire on him.
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