Chicago’s First Vice Lord | WBEZ
Skip to main content

Eight Forty-Eight

Chicago's First Vice Lord

In 1895, a young man named Vincenzo Colosimo arrived in Chicago from Italy. Through a combination of brains, brawn, and charm, he figured out a way to literally “organize crime” in what was still an “anything-goes” kind of town. His story is told in the new book The First Vice Lord: Big Jim and the Ladies of the Levee, by Arthur Bilek. Eight Forty-Eight's Jason Marck recently talked with Belik who says Big Jim's ingenuity came from necessity.

Music Button: Herbie Hancock, "Wiggle Waggle", from the CD Pulp Fusion: Return to the Tough Side, (Harmless records

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.

CLOSE X