Skip to main content

Ness, Eliot

Eliot Ness, 1903–57, American law enforcement officer, b. Chicago, grad. Univ. of Chicago (1925), famous as the leader of the "Untouchables," the Justice Dept. squad who fought the gangster Al Capone during prohibition. Ness joined the U.S. Treasury Dept. in 1927, and two years later became a special agent in the Justice Dept. Nicknamed the "Untouchables" for their incorruptability, he and his nine-man team disrupted Capone's illegal breweries and speakeasies, and their efforts helped lead to the successful prosecution of Capone for federal tax evasion. Ness later wrote of his exploits in The Untouchables (1957, with O. Fraley), which became the basis of a popular television series and several films. He also served (1933–35) as head of the Justice Dept.'s alcohol tax unit, and later was director (1935–41) of public safety for Cleveland, Ohio, and headed (1941–45) the Federal Security Agency's Division of Social Protection.

See biographies by P. W. Heimel (1997) and D. Perry (2014); study by K. Tucker (2000).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ness, Eliot." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ness, Eliot." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ness-eliot

"Ness, Eliot." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ness-eliot

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.