Chicago Gaylords

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Almighty Gaylords
Founding location Chicago, Illinois
Years active 1950s - 2000
Territory Chicago
Ethnicity European-American, Native American
Allies Jousters, other People Nation gangs
Rivals Folk Nation

The Chicago Gaylords, also known as the Almighty Gaylords, was a Chicago street gang active during the mid and late 20th century. It originated in the neighborhood of Grand and Noble. The original president of the Gaylords selected the name after reading about the Gaylords in the public library (the Gaillards, later anglicized to Gaylord, were people from Normandy who lived near the Château Gaillard, constructed by Richard I). They were a part of the People Nation alliance.[1]


The Chicago Gaylords began as one of the clubs started by World War II veterans and George Nebour Zomaya. Joey Sibo, and the majority of the original members were Italian, Irish, and Greek Americans which reflected the population of the Grand and Ogden area at the time, that was known as one of Chicago's "Little Italys." There were many such clubs in Chicago during the post WWII era, and had their own clubhouses and baseball teams. The Gaylord's clubhouse was on the corner of Ohio and Noble Street. At the height of the Gaylords reign they had more than 6000 members, were one of the most powerful gangs in Chicago, and controlled large areas of the city.

Gang expansion and decline[edit]

During their peak period in the 1970s, the Chicago Gaylords held sets (or sections) on the North Side, West side and the South Side of Chicago. The West side sections included Ohio and Noble, Ohio and Leclaire and Monticelllo and Augusta. Their South Side sections included Back of the Yards and West Englewood (around 55th & Ashland, Sherman Park), Pilsen (18th & Western), and Bridgeport (Throop Street). Their North Side presence included Montclair (Sayre park)[Belmont Cragin]Manor Bowl,Reinberg School, Chopin Park, Blackhawk Park,St Gens. Humboldt Park (Moffat & Campbell); Logan Square (Palmer & California, Lawndale & Altgeld); Irving Park (Albany & Byron); Kilbourn Park (Roscoe & Kilbourn); Kelvyn Park (Kilbourn & Wrightwood); Dunham Park (Montrose & Narragansett); Ravenswood (Seeley & Ainslie); and Uptown (Sunnyside & Magnolia, Lawrence & Broadway). During the 1960s through the early 1980s, the Chicago Gaylords experienced tremendous growth and expansion, with sections popping up all over Chicago.[2] During the late 1980s and 1990s, the gang diminished in size and influence due to demographic changes, particularly white flight from the urban areas of Chicago.[3]

Gang colors[edit]

The sets, or sections, started by Kilbourn Park wore black and light blue. Sections started by Palmer street wore black and gray. South Side sections started by the 18th and Western section like 55th and Ashland and Sherman Park wore black and brown.


  • Kilian, Michael, Connie Flether, and Ciccone, Richard F. (1979). Who Runs Chicago:? New York: St. Martin's Press, p. 165.
  • Scott, Michael Great American Youth"--Authorhouse,2011.
  • Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963); March 3, 1954; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Police Squads Break Up Gang Fight; Arrest 8: Chicago Tribune (1890-1985)Page 3.
  • University of ILL. Gang Research Website [1]. Gangs around in the 1930s and 1940s: Para 11.
  • John Hagedorn, 'A world of gangs: armed young men and gangsta culture',[2], published by U of Minnesota Press, 2008, Page 53-54.
  • 18 Month Gang Investigation Leads to Arrest 9 [3], published by the Chicago Tribune By David Heinzmann, August 23, 2011.
  • The Color of His Skin - Joe Henson Murder Story [4], published by the Chicago Reader By Steve Bogira, February 29, 2012.

External links[edit]