Battaglia, Salvatore (1908-1973)

b. Illinois, Nov. 4, 1908.
d. Chicago, IL, Sept. 7, 1973.

Known as "Sam" or "Teets," Battaglia was an important figure in the post-Capone Chicago Outfit and appears to have served as a short-term acting boss of the organization.

Battaglia first earned notice in October 1930, when he was involved in holding up the wife of Chicago Mayor William Hale Thompson. Mrs. Thompson was driven home by a police officer. As she reached her apartment building and stepped from the automobile, gunmen relieved her of an estimated $15,500 in jewelry.

In the late 1950s, Battaglia was again in the news for refusing to answer questions put to him by the U.S. Senate's McClellan Committee. In August, 1958, he was one of thirteen men cited by a unanimous Senate for contempt of Congress.

Battaglia was a top lieutenant in the regime of Sam Giancana in the early 1960s. When Giancana was imprisoned for contempt of court in 1965 and departed the U.S. for Mexico the following year, Battaglia served as acting boss of the Chicago Outfit.

By 1966, Battaglia faced his own problems with law enforcement. He was convicted in spring 1967 of extorting money from a construction company. "Teets" claimed he was framed. He was sentenced to 15 years.

In prison, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was paroled in late August 1973 from the medical center for federal prisoners at Springfield, Missouri. Eleven days later, he died.