Who Was the Most Notorious Gangster in American History?

Gangsters have always been a part of American history. From the Mafia to the Crips and Bloods, gangsters have played a significant role in shaping American culture.

But who was the most notorious gangster in American history? Was it Al Capone, John Gotti, or someone else entirely? In this article, we’ll explore the lives of some of the most infamous gangsters in American history and determine who deserves the title of “most notorious.”

Al Capone

One of the most well-known gangsters in American history is undoubtedly Al Capone. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Capone rose to fame during Prohibition as a bootlegger and organized crime boss in Chicago. He was responsible for numerous violent crimes and murders and became known as “Scarface” due to a facial scar he received during a bar fight.

Capone’s reign as a gangster was short-lived, however. In 1931, he was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. While he was incarcerated, his health deteriorated due to syphilis, and he died in 1947.

John Gotti

Another infamous gangster is John Gotti. Born in New York City’s South Bronx neighborhood, Gotti became involved with organized crime at an early age. In 1985, he became the boss of the Gambino crime family after ordering the murder of his predecessor, Paul Castellano.

Gotti gained notoriety for his flashy lifestyle and media presence but was eventually brought down by federal prosecutors. In 1992, he was convicted on multiple charges including murder and racketeering and sentenced to life in prison without parole. He died behind bars in 2002.

James “Whitey” Bulger

James “Whitey” Bulger is another notorious gangster in American history. Born in Boston, Bulger became involved with organized crime in his early 20s and rose to power as the head of the Winter Hill Gang. He was known for his brutality and willingness to kill anyone who crossed him.

Bulger was able to evade law enforcement for years, but in 2011 he was finally arrested after more than 16 years on the run. He was convicted on multiple charges including murder and racketeering and sentenced to life in prison. In 2018, he was murdered inside a federal prison.


So who deserves the title of “most notorious gangster” in American history? While all three of these men were violent criminals responsible for countless murders and other crimes, it’s hard to argue against Al Capone. His reign as a gangster during Prohibition is legendary, and his name has become synonymous with organized crime.

Regardless of who holds the title, it’s important to remember that these men were not heroes or anti-heroes. They were criminals who caused untold damage and suffering to countless individuals and communities. It’s crucial that we don’t glorify or romanticize their actions but instead learn from their mistakes so that we can work towards preventing similar tragedies from happening again in the future.

  • Al Capone: Born in Brooklyn, New York
  • John Gotti: Born in South Bronx neighborhood of New York City
  • James “Whitey” Bulger: Born in Boston

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and does not condone or support criminal activity.