David Barksdale

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David Barksdale
Barksdale mugshot taken by the Chicago Police Department on January 18, 1974
Born Donise David Barksdale
(1947-05-24)May 24, 1947
Sallis, Mississippi, U.S.
Died September 2, 1974(1974-09-02) (aged 27)
Chicago, Illinois. U.S.
Other names King David
Chairman of the Board
Spouse(s) Yvonne Barksdale (?-1974; his death)
Children Donise David Barksdale Jr,
Melinda Barksdale
Ronnie Barksdale

David Barksdale (born Donise David Barksdale; May 24, 1947 – September 2, 1974), also known as King David, was the original leader of the Chicago-based street gangs ; Devil's Disciples, Black Disciples, Maniac Latin Disciples, Black Gangster Disciples and Satan's Disciples.

Early Life[edit]

Born Donise David Barksdale in Sallis, Mississippi to parents Virginia and Charlie in a family of thirteen children, he moved with his family to Chicago in 1957. Within three years Barksdale had become a notorious gang leader.

Black Gangster Disciple Nation[edit]

By 1966, Barksdale's gang absorbed several others and became known as the Black Disciple Nation. Tensions grew between the Black Disciples and other gangs such as the Black Stone Rangers. In 1968 the leader of the Black Stone Rangers, Eugene Hairston, ordered a hit on King David. David was shot seven times while exiting a bar one night, but survived and continued running the gang, while Hairston was sent to prison and eventually killed for trying to organize his murder. Barksdale eventually grew sick of the bloodshed and proposed a merger with Larry Hoover, leader of the Gangster Disciples in 1969. Hoover accepted and the Black Gangster Disciple Nation was born.

Death and Legacy[edit]

On September 2, 1974, Barksdale died from kidney failure as a result of the 1969 attack in which he was accidentally shot by one of his cohorts "Suitcase Charlie".[1] He was survived by his three children (one of whom was gunned down by a member of the Gangster Disciples street gang in 1996) and wife Yvonne Barksdale, until her murder three years later in 1977. Over the course of his life Barksdale was arrested 25 times, but never convicted of any serious offense. On several occasions when he was arrested he used the alias "David Jones".

He is still revered by the Black Disciples. Every year there is a birthday celebration in his honor. In 2008, there was a parade that was sponsored and supported by the Black Disciples organization, in a controversial move, registered by the Chicago City Council for the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. The parade was criticized by the Fraternal Order of Police, and officers administering the event were forewarned about potential gang violence.