|Birth: ||Apr. 28, 1872, Italy|
|Death: ||Mar. 21, 1928, USA|
Esposito, a Chicago(old)19th Ward Republican committeeman, was a reputed gangster who was shot to death in front of his house during Al Capone's mob wars in 1928. He was well known for his extravagant clothing and flashy jewelry and was wearing a $5000 diamond ring and his trademark "J.E." diamond belt buckle when he was gunned down. His killers were never found.
(Partial transcription of the following article.)
CHICAGO TRIBUNE - March 22, 1928
VOLLEY KILLS ITALIAN LEADER
Assassins Fire from Mysterious Auto; Hold His Two Bodyguards
"Diamond Joe" Esposito was slain last night. He was shot down by assassins -- perhaps through the treachery of his bodyguards.
Almost in front of his home at 800 South Oakley Blvd., in the midst of his campaign election as Republican Ward Committeeman of the 25th Ward, where he had risen to power and wealth, the picturesque Italian leader fell with fifty-eight pellets in his head and body from two double-barreled shotguns and one revolver.
Ralph and Joe Varchetti, the bodyguards, were untouched by the barrage, though Esposito was walking between them, and last night they were held under suspicion of having "put Esposito on the spot" -- of having him at the place at the time previously arranged with the assassins.
WARNED OF HIS FATE
Yesterday morning Joe had been warned. He was coming to a voluntary end of his career in that district -- once called the Bloody Nineteenth ward-- where he had become known as a leader of his race, a cafe owner, a friend of bootleggers and alky cookers, where he was reputed to be the protector of gamblers and where his name was often mentioned in connection with murders, shootings, and bombings, but where, despite a shadowy reputation, he enjoyed the friendships of the prosperous and powerful as well as of the poor and lowly. His political affiliation was with the Deneen Republican group.
Mount Carmel Cemetery
GPS (lat/lon): 41.86263, -87.91138
Created by: DM
Record added: Sep 22, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9504473