I went swimming today at school. Went to the tables at Study Hall. Walked home with Ruth Ray.
April 19, 1903 – May 16, 1957
Ness joined the U.S. Treasury Department in 1927, working with the 300-strong Bureau of
Prohibition in his hometown of Chicago. Following the election of President Herbert Hoover,
the Treasury Department was specifically charged with bringing down gangster Al Capone.
Ness was chosen to head the operations under the Volstead Act, targeting the illegal breweries
and supply routes of Capone. In order to accomplish this he created a team of unbribable agents
nicknamed "The Untouchables."
Following the repeal of Prohibition, Ness was assigned as an alcohol tax agent in the
"Moonshine Mountains" of southern Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee (1933-1935). He then
served as Director of Public Safety in Cleveland (1935–41), and during World War II
as Director of the Division of Social Protection of the Federal Security Agency in
Washington, D.C. (1941–45).
Ness died at his Cleveland home of a heart attack. "The Untouchables", the
book he co-wrote with Oscar Fraley, was published a month after his death.