Friday, April 08, 2011

Edward J. "Spike" O'Donnell Talks Crime and Politicians Go All PC - October 1933

Jack, that Cat was Clean!

Edward J. "Spike" O'Donnell* was the only gangster from the Capone era to retire from the rackets, make money as a coal/oil executive, pioneer the Chicago paving of streets, maintain his political clout and die of natural causes.

Spike O'Donnell was an elder statesman of the sidewalks on 79th Street at Loomis, where he held court with White Sox great Buck Weaver and other worthies.

He never used 'salty' language, was courtly to women, kind to children and maintained life-long frendships with actors Spencer Tracy, Frank McHugh, George Raft and Jimmy Cagney. Spencer Tracy attended his funeral mass at Little Flower Church in 1962.

* from Mario Gomes great site -click my post title for more on Chicago's Gangsters

James Edward O'Donnell, known as "Spike" was the eldest son of Patrick J. O'Donnell and Ann Mahoney. He was born on Novemeber 29,1889, and died on August 26,1962, from a massive coronary thrombosis. He had eight brothers and two sisters as follows;

Ellen 11-7-1891. Baptized at St Rose of Lima
John Joseph 7-1-1894. Baptized at St Rose of Lima
Thomas Francis 1-24-1896. Baptized at St Rose of Lima
Stephen 8-5-1898. Baptized at St Rose of Lima
Walter Anthony 3-21-1900. Baptized at St Rose of Lima
Patrick Henry aka Percy 10-2-1902. Baptized at St Rose of Lima
Charles Basil aka Chauncey 7-6-1904. Baptized at St Basil
Raymond P 3-10-1906. Baptized at St Basil
Annabelle Joy 7-22-1909. Baptized at St Basil
Philip Leo 12-28-1911. Baptized at St Basil - The only brother without an arrest record. Spike forbade his youngest brother from hanging around gangs.

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