Rare Autograph of Untouchables Leader Eliot Ness
NESS, Eliot (1903-1957). Special Agent of the U.S. Justice Department. He was hired in 1929 and assigned to head its anti-Prohibition efforts in Chicago, Illinois. His goal was to end the criminal career of Al Capone which he did by securing evidence that led to Capone’s conviction for tax evasion. His efforts in frustrating Chicago organized crime during the 30’s and 40’s is legendary. He led a 9-man team known as “The Untouchables”, each man unbribable. Ness was also responsible for the downfall of Capone’s successor Frank Nitti and the capture of John Dillinger. In 1935, Ness was lured by the City of Cleveland to become their Safety Director, a position established to help and rid the police department of corruption. His efforts were successful and by the 1940’s. The Cleveland Police Department was a model of efficiency with criminal activity greatly curtailed. During WWII, he was Director of the Division of Social Protection of the Federal Security Agency in Washington, DC. Eliot Ness died in 1957, just months before his book The Untouchables was published. The book went on to become the basis for the extremely popular 1960’s TV series starring Robert Stack and the 1987 movie of the same name featuring Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness. Check, 8.25”x3”, drawn on the Union Bank of Commerce, Cleveland, Ohio, dated Jan. 29,1949. Filled in by Ness for $15.00 and made payable to “Hotel Hollenden.” Signed “Eliot Ness” with a choice bold, signature. This check exhibits normal rubber bank stamping on verso. Cancellation holes do not touch Ness’s fine signature. Of the very few checks that ever appeared in the autograph market, they were smaller in size and usually filled out by another hand. Autographs of Ness have always been considered scarce and this is a wonderful example
Included is a wonderful 8"x10" photo of Robert Stack playing Eliot Ness in the TV series The Untouchables.