Chicago Gaylords

Last updated
Almighty Gaylords
Founding location Chicago, Illinois
Years active1940s - present
TerritoryChicago, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Wisconsin and Flint Michigan
EthnicityEuropean Americans with some Native Americans
Allies People Nation
Rivals Folk Nation

The Chicago Gaylords, also known as the Almighty Gaylords, is a Chicago street gang which was most active during the mid and late 20th century. It originated in the neighborhood of Grand and Noble. The original president of the Gaylords selected the name after reading about the Gaylords in the public library (the Gaillards, later anglicized to Gaylord, were people from Normandy who lived near the Château Gaillard, constructed by Richard I). [1] They were a part of the People Nation alliance. [2]

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States.

Normandy Administrative region of France

Normandy is the northwesternmost of the 18 regions of France, roughly referring to the historical Duchy of Normandy.

Château Gaillard castle

Château Gaillard is a ruined medieval castle, located 90 metres (300 ft) above the commune of Les Andelys overlooking the River Seine, in the Eure département of Normandy, France. It is located some 95 kilometres (59 mi) north-west of Paris and 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Rouen. Construction began in 1196 under the auspices of Richard the Lionheart, who was simultaneously King of England and feudal Duke of Normandy. The castle was expensive to build, but the majority of the work was done in an unusually short period of time. It took just two years and, at the same time, the town of Petit Andely was constructed. Château Gaillard has a complex and advanced design, and uses early principles of concentric fortification; it was also one of the earliest European castles to use machicolations. The castle consists of three enclosures separated by dry moats, with a keep in the inner enclosure.


Origins and history

The Chicago Gaylords, one of Chicago's oldest street gangs, [3] was a club founded by World War II veterans and the majority of the original members were Italian, Irish, and Greek Americans. This ethnic makeup reflected the population of the Grand and Ogden area at the time, that was known as one of Chicago's "Little Italies." There were many such clubs in Chicago during the post World War II era, and had their own clubhouses and baseball teams. The Gaylords' clubhouse was on the corner of Ohio and Noble Street. At the height of the Gaylords reign in 1979, they were listed as the fourth most powerful gang in Chicago and were noted as "Chicago's largest white street gang...considered a violent, bigoted outfit." [4] In 1970, they were suspected for being involved in the murder of a black Chicago citizen named Joe Henson, but no charges were brought: a later feature article in the Chicago Reader alleged police and political coverup. [5]

Little Italy ethnic enclave

Little Italy is a general name for an ethnic enclave populated primarily by Italians or people of Italian ancestry, usually in an urban neighborhood. The concept of "Little Italy" holds many different aspects of the Italian culture. There are shops selling Italian goods as well as Italian restaurants lining the streets. A "Little Italy" strives essentially to have a version of the country of Italy placed in the middle of a big non-Italian city. This sort of enclave is often the result of periods of immigration in the past, during which people of the same culture settled together in certain areas. As cities modernized and grew, these areas became known for their ethnic associations, and towns like "Little Italy" blossomed, becoming the icons they are today.

<i>Chicago Reader</i> alternative weekly newspaper in Chicago

The Chicago Reader, or Reader, is an American alternative weekly newspaper in Chicago, Illinois, noted for its literary style of journalism and coverage of the arts, particularly film and theater. It was founded by a group of friends from Carleton College.

During their peak period, the Chicago Gaylords held sets (or sections) on the North Side, West side and the South Side of Chicago. The West side sections included Ohio and Noble, Ohio and Leclaire and Monticelllo and Augusta. Their South Side sections included Back of the Yards and West Englewood (around 55th & Ashland, Sherman Park), Pilsen (18th & Western), and Bridgeport (Throop Street). Their North Side presence included Belmont Cragin, Manor Bowl, Reinberg School, Chopin Park, Blackhawk Park, St Gens., Humboldt Park (Moffat & Campbell); Logan Square (Palmer & California, Lawndale & Altgeld); Irving Park (Albany & Byron); Kilbourn Park (Roscoe & Kilbourn); Kelvyn Park (Kilbourn & Wrightwood); Dunham Park (Montrose & Narragansett); Ravenswood (Seeley & Ainslie); and Uptown (Sunnyside & Magnolia, Lawrence & Broadway). Two of the most powerful Gaylord sections existed in Logan Square: Lawndale and Altgeld (L-A section) and Palmer and California (Palmer Street). [4]

Humboldt Park, Chicago Community area in Illinois, United States

Humboldt Park, one of 77 designated community areas, is on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois. The Humboldt Park neighborhood is known for its dynamic social and ethnic demographic change over the years. The Puerto Rican community has identified strongly with the area since the 1970s; Humboldt Park is also the name of a 207-acre (0.8 km²) park adjacent to the community area.

Logan Square, Chicago Community area in Illinois, United States

Logan Square is an official community area, historical neighborhood, and public square located on the northwest side of the City of Chicago. The Logan Square community area is one of the 77 city-designated community areas established for planning purposes. The Logan Square neighborhood, located within the Logan Square community area, is centered on the public square that serves as its namesake, located at the three-way intersection of Milwaukee Avenue, Logan Boulevard and Kedzie Boulevard.

Irving Park, Chicago Community area in Illinois, United States

Irving Park is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas located on the Northwest Side. It is bounded by the Chicago River on the east, the Milwaukee Road railroad tracks on the west, Addison Street on the south and Montrose Avenue on the north, west of Pulaski Road stretching to encompass the region between Belmont Avenue on the south and, roughly, Leland Avenue on the north. It is named after the American author Washington Irving.

In 2011, police and federal agents arrested 9 members of suburban Gaylords factions on charges of drug dealing, gun trafficking and violent intimidation. [6]

Gang structure

Divisions Within SetsAge Group
Slylords/Palmer PudsUnder 13
Midget13 to 15
PeeWees16 to 18
Juniors18 to 20
Seniors21 and older

Gang colors

The sets, or sections, started by Kilbourn Park wore black and light blue. Sections started by Palmer street wore black and gray. South Side sections started by the 18th and Western section like 55th and Ashland and Sherman Park wore black and brown.

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  1. Scott, Michael (September 4, 2004). Lords of Lawndale: My Life in a Chicago White Street Gang. AuthorHouse. ISBN   1418482196.
  2. Florida Department of Corrections. "Street Gangs — Chicago Based or Influenced: People Nation and Folk Nation". State of Florida. Archived from the original on 2008-03-16. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
  3. "The Young Lords and Early Chicago Puerto Rican Gangs". UIC Gang Research Website. University of Illinois. 27 January 2002. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  4. 1 2 Kilian, Michael; Fletcher, Connie; Ciccone, E. Richard (1979). Who Runs Chicago?. St. Martin's Press. p. 165. ISBN   031287023X.
  5. Bogira, Steve (February 29, 2012). "The color of his skin". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  6. Heinzmann, David (August 23, 2011). "18-month gang investigation leads to arrest of 9". Chicago Tribune . Retrieved 16 March 2016.