Bronx gangs (1950s–1960s)

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In the 1950s and 60s the youth gangs in the Bronx, New York, emerged with a particular notoriety.

One gang, the Fordham Baldies were reputed to shave the heads, and other body parts, of those they caught. This was found to be a nice touch in the Wanderers movie, but in reality, the Fordham Baldies were named for the bald eagle and had the duck's ass or "D.A." hairstyle later made famous by Fonzie from Happy Days. Rumors often swept Bronx high schools in the 1950s and 1960s that "the Baldies were coming" to confront the student body, at the generally docile Bronx High School of Science and the more macho, all-male DeWitt Clinton High School. Such rumors would often bring along a large police presence and long disruptions.

Popular culture[edit]

  • Richard Price's novel The Wanderers and movie of the same name starring young Ken Wahl and Karen Allen document early Bronx gangs. Much of the film was shot in the neighborhoods depicted, including the residential neighborhoods, the armed forces recruiting center on the Fordham Road overpass above the Grand Concourse, and Krum's ice cream parlor 100 yards/meters south on the Grand Concourse. Although the movie's heroes, The Wanderers were fictitious, the movie's villains were explicitly named The Fordham Baldies.
  • A Bronx Tale depicts gang activities in the Belmont "Little Italy" section of the Bronx
  • Documentarian James Hannon released in August, 2010, Lost Boys of the Bronx: The Oral History of the Ducky Boys. This book (formerly a video documentary project) focuses on the real life Ducky Boys gang of mid-1960s Bronx, New York who were made famous by the film The Wanderers.

External links[edit]