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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 14 May 1868Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Date of Death 19 March 1944Blackstone Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birth NameWilliam Hale Thompson
Nickname Big Bill

Mini Bio (1)

William 'Big Bill' Thompson was born on May 14, 1868 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA as William Hale Thompson. He died on March 19, 1944 in Blackstone Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Trivia (4)

Mayor of Chicago 1915-1923 and 1927-1931.
During WWI, Thompson was steadfastly supportive of Germany and was very openly anti-British, to the extent that he held book burning rally where the flames were fed by the works of British authors. He was re-elected as mayor during this time, despite general public opinion being the exact opposite.
He was worth $2.1 million at the time of his death in 1944.
Generally considered to be one of the most corrupt mayors in the history of Chicago. He was known to have taken payoffs from virtually every gangster in Chicago, from Al Capone to George Moran (aka Bugs Moran), among others. State and federal authorities estimated that, during Thompson's two terms as mayor, at least 50% of the Chicago Police Department was taking payoffs from organized-crime figures, usually to overlook or protect gambling, prostitution and bootlegging activities but also extortion and narcotics, and Thompson eventually got his cut from even that--a beat patrolman turned over a certain percentage of his graft to his sergeant, who turned over a certain percentage to his lieutenant, and so on up the chain of command until it reached Thompson. Overpriced contracts for city services were awarded to politically connected companies or individuals, and then the services were either performed poorly or often not at all, with kickbacks from those contracts making their way into the pockets of Thompson and his political machine.

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