Campagna, Louis (1900-1955)

b. Brooklyn, NY, June 27, 1900.
d. Miami, FL, May 30, 1955.

A close associate of Al Capone, Louis "Little New York" Campagna is believed to have briefly served as boss of the Chicago Outfit in the post-Capone era.

Like Capone, Campagna was born in Brooklyn, New York, and relocated to Chicago. He became a trusted aide and bodyguard to Capone.

Following Capone's imprisonment for tax evasion, Campagna became the top lieutenant for Frank Nitti. Nitti, Campagna and several other leaders of the Chicago Outfit were indicted in 1943 by a federal grand jury in New York for using their control of a screen and stage employees union to extort a million dollars from movie company executives. Just hours after the indictment, Nitti committed suicide. Campagna appears to have served as the Outfit's top man until the extortion case resulted in his conviction.

Anthony Accardo and Paul Ricca later emerged as the leading figures in the Outfit.

Campagna connections were credited with arranging for a more convenient prison term for Outfit leaders, having them moved from distant Atlanta Federal Prison, to more accessible Leavenworth, Kansas, and arranging for a quick parole in 1947.

Campagna maintained a home in Berwyn, Illinois, just west of Cicero, and also had a palatial estate in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

In spring of 1955, Campagna and his wife vacationed in the Bahamas. The returned to the U.S. by plane on May 16, landing in Miami. Two weeks later, Campagna went on a fishing trip in the waters off Miami. He reportedly suffered a heart attack on the fishing boat. He was pronounced dead at Miami.

Campagna's Benton Harbor estate was purchased several months later by the Seventh Day Adventist Church for use as a sanatorium.

Sources:

  •   Cook County Illinois Birth Certificates Index.
  •   Florida Death Index.
  •   New York City Birth Records
  •   Passenger manifest of aircraft N1080M, Chalk's Airline, departed Bimini, Bahamas, arrived Miami, Fl., 5:25 p.m., May 16, 1955.
  •   Roberts, S.A. John W. Jr., "La Cosa Nostra, Chicago Division," FBI report, file no. 92-6054-677, NARA no. 124-10287-10243, July 16, 1964, p. 5.
  •   United States Census of 1930, Illinois, Cook County, City of Berwyn, Enumeration District 16-1988.
  •   United States Census of 1940, Illinois, Cook County, City of Berwyn, Ward 3, Enumeration District 16-15.
  •   Yost, Newton E., "La Cosa Nostra," FBI report, file no. 92-6054-683, NARA no. 124-10208-10406, July 22, 1964, p. 18.



  •   "Capone 'enforcer' shot by detective," New York Times, Dec. 20, 1932, p. 8.
  •   "Gang leader Nitti kills himself in Chicago after indictment here," New York Times, March 20, 1943, p. 30.
  •   "Louis Campagna, notorious Capone gangster, dies," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 31, 1955, p. 2.
  •   "Adventists buy estate of gangster," Dixon IL Evening Telegraph, Aug. 26, 1955, p. 6.