Bugs Moran Biography

Adelard Cunin, also known as George “Bugs” Moran, was a notorious gangster during the Prohibition-era in Chicago. Coming from a French immigrant family in Minnesota, Moran’s path to criminality began during his time at Cretin High School. Dropping out at 18, he quickly became involved in serious criminal activities, leading to multiple incarcerations. Eventually, Moran found himself in Chicago, where he rose through the ranks of the city’s criminal underworld. As a rival of Al Capone, Moran ran a bootlegging operation during Prohibition, working for the Irish mob. Their bitter feud reached its climax in the infamous Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, resulting in the deaths of seven of Moran’s associates.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Adelard Leo Cunin
  • Died At Age: 63
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Lucille Logan Bilezikdijan Moran
    • Father: Jules Cunin
    • Mother: Marie Diana Cunin
    • Children: John George Moran
  • Born Country: United States
  • Gangsters
  • American Men
  • Died on: February 25, 1957
  • Place of death: Leavenworth, Kansas, United States

Childhood & Early Life

Bugs Moran was born on August 21, 1893, in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. He was the son of French immigrants Jules and Marie Diana Gobeil Cunin. Moran attended Cretin High School but dropped out at the age of 18 after getting involved with a juvenile gang. He was later apprehended for attempting to rob a store and was sent to a juvenile correctional facility. By the time he turned 21, Moran had already been to prison three times. He then decided to run away to Chicago, where he was arrested for various crimes including attempted robbery, horse-stealing, and involvement in a robbery that resulted in the death of a police officer. He received multiple sentences for these crimes.

Prohibition-Era Activities

The implementation of the 18th Amendment in 1920 marked the beginning of the Prohibition era, during which the distribution of alcoholic beverages became illegal. This led to widespread bootlegging, and Chicago became a hub for bootlegging-related criminal activities. Two groups emerged as the main organizations competing for control of bootlegging operations in the city: the North Side Gang led by Dean O’Banion, and the Italian mob of the South Side led by Al Capone. Moran was part of the North Side Gang and ran a bootlegging operation with Hymie Weiss. This posed a threat to Capone’s criminal empire, leading to a violent turf war between the two groups. The rivalry resulted in casualties and damages on both sides.

The 1929 Valentine’s Day Massacre

On February 14, 1929, Capone ordered the infamous Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in an attempt to eliminate Moran and his gang. Moran received a phone call on February 13, informing him of a truckload of whiskey available at a bargain price. He instructed his gang members to meet at a warehouse the next morning. However, Moran himself arrived late, and two men in police uniform, along with two others in civilian clothes, lined up Moran’s men against the warehouse wall and gunned them down. Six men died on the spot, and one was taken to the hospital but eventually died. Moran publicly accused Capone of the killings, but Capone was never found guilty.

Later Years & Death

After the massacre, Moran was able to maintain his dominance over his territory for a while. However, the North Side Gang never fully regained its power or influence in Chicago’s underworld. Moran eventually left the gang but continued to engage in petty crimes such as mail fraud and robbery. He faced several convictions and prison sentences throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Moran passed away on February 25, 1957, at Leavenworth Prison in Kansas, after battling lung cancer. He was buried in Leavenworth’s cemetery.

Family & Personal Life

In 1922, Moran married Lucille Logan Bilezikdijan. They had a son named John George Moran. Lucille’s birth and death dates are unknown. John survived his father but passed away in 1959, two years after Moran’s death.

Bugs Moran in Fiction

Moran has been portrayed in various forms of media. In 1958, he was portrayed by Dennis Patrick in the CBS anthology series ‘Playhouse 90’. He also made a brief appearance in the HBO series ‘Boardwalk Empire’.

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