The Great Depression displayed utter ruthlessness as it swept throughout the still-developing country of America, leaving nothing but turmoil in its wake.
Not one city was left unaffected by its aftermath and Chicago was no exception. The sixth largest city in the country teetered dangerously on the precipice of complete disorder as the disease of corruption worsened, the dissent of laborers surged, and the occurrence of crime became increasingly more frequent. However, amidst the chaos and confusion, there existed one man who proved himself to be the true embodiment of determination and honest character: Eliot Ness. Eliot Ness retains the honor of being known as the man who terminated the multimillion-dollar breweries operated by none other than Alphonse Capone. This achievement does not stand alone, however, as Eliot should also be recognized for ridding Chicago’s streets of crime and corruption, as well as weeding out crooked police offices within his own bureau. For these accomplishments and so much more, the city of Chicago requests that a statue is constructed in his honor.
Before the dreadful loss of his parents at only age fourteen, Eliot enjoyed a childhood filled with much affection and attention. It was because of this abundant care that he developed a strong determination to succeed, which was evident in his vehement dedication to his studies. Eliot’s determination persisted even throughout his years spent at college, where he graduated within the top ten percent of his class at the University of Chicago with degrees in political science, commerce, and business administration. After being brought in as an agent to work for the U.S. Treasury Department, Eliot rose even further within the ranks when, in 1928, he was transferred to the Justice Department, where he officially began working for the Prohibition Bureau in a task force nicknamed “The Untouchables.” During his time in the Bureau, he remained one of the few agents to refuse bribes from criminals as well as his fellow agents. Outside of his career life, Eliot continued to focus his attention and care on those around him.
Although he and his wife Edna were unable to have children of their own, he was known to visit the house of Robert Chamberlain and ask to play with the children. When his busy schedule allowed for it, he would spend hours playing with them. Eliot and his second wife Evaline were also incapable of having children, so instead Eliot focused on providing his wife with a comfortable life where she could pursue her passion for writing. Several years later, Eliot and his wife adopted a small boy of three years old to whom they gave the name Robert. Just as the name “Untouchables” insinuates, Eliot maintained an honest character during a time known for its corruption. His significant contributions to both his family and the city of Chicago will forever be remembered as the actions of a true American hero.
Constructing a statue in his name would allow for the recognition his actions and life deserve. Chicago would be proud to call itself the home of a statue to venerate this American hero.