Besides Al Capone, how many Empire of Sin bosses are real?

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In Empire of Sin, the players play as the leader of a crime syndicate in Chicago during the Prohibition era. The strategy game mixes role-playing elements with isometric tactical gameplay as players compete against other crime bosses to control the city before Prohibition ends in 1933. Like some other notable strategy games, Empire of Sin players choose their boss from a predetermined range of powerful gangsters. Empire of Sin Developer Romero Games has taken some artistic liberty with the period, but a large majority of the game’s crime bosses are directly inspired by real-life Prohibition-era underworld characters.


Al Capone is by far the most famous gangster to appear in Empire of Sin and perhaps the most famous criminal of the Prohibition Age. Capone rose to prominence commercially and politically through smuggling and a host of other rackets across Chicago. His union orchestrated the infamous Valentine’s Day Massacre, in which seven members of a rival gang were executed. Capone was eventually taken off the streets after being charged with tax evasion and died shortly after his incarceration ended.

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Alphonse Capone may have been Public Enemy No.1 in the real Chicago, but he’s just one of 15 equally crafty bosses of Empire of Sin, which is now on Game Pass. Some are works of fiction created by the developers, but most are based on real union leaders in Chicago, New York and beyond. There are nine more Empire of Sin bosses inspired by real racketeers, some of whom bear their real names.

Real Life Empire Of Sin Boss – Dean O’Banion

Real Life Empire Of Sin Boss - Dean O'Banion

Charles Dean O’Banion was born in Maroa, Illinois, according to the Dean O’Banion Project (preserved through Internet Archives), but moved to Chicago at a young age after her mother died of tuberculosis. O’Banion got involved in a life of crime at a young age, and an accident in which his leg was crushed by a moving streetcar would leave him with a signature limp for the rest of his life. O’Banion would become the leader of the North Side Gang, which was in direct competition with Capone’s Chicago Outfit. O’Banion was killed after a debt disagreement, and his death would later contribute to the Valentine’s Day Massacre, the victims of which were members of the North Side Gang.

Real Life Empire Of Sin Boss – Angelo Genna

Real Life Empire of Sin Boss - Angelo Genna

Angelo Genna, also known as Bloody Angelo, was partly responsible for O’Banion’s death since Genna was the one who owed the debt to the O’Banion casino. From a message from The American Mafia, which tells the story of American organized crime, Genna was born in Sicily before emigrating to the United States in 1914 and becoming known thereafter as in Empire of Sin. After the O’Banion coup, a gang war escalated in Chicago, and Genna was killed after being shot multiple times while driving. Bloody Angelo reportedly shrugged his shoulders on his deathbed when police asked him who his killers were.

Real Life Empire Of Sin Boss – Stephanie St. Clair

Real Life Empire of Sin Boss - Stephanie St Clair

Stephanie St. Clair is another real-world figure found in Empire of Sin. According to The crowd museum, Stéphanie St. Clair was born in 1897, most likely in French Guadeloupe. St. Clair was not actually involved in the Chicago underworld, but rather was a prominent figure in the crime syndicates from Harlem to New York. She was heavily involved in number rackets in Harlem before her criminal enterprises were confiscated for the benefit of Lucky Luciano.

Related: How To Promote An Advisor In Empire of Sin

A feud with her eccentric husband left St. Clair to blame for an assault on her life, for which she was jailed. After being released from prison, St. Clair reportedly did not re-enter the criminal underworld and instead focused her efforts on civil rights activism.

Real Life Empire Of Sin Boss – Maxim Zelnick

According to GameWatcher, Maxim Zelnick was supposed to be Meyer Lansky, a real gangster before a “conflict of interest“resulted in the name change. Zelnick came as part of the DLC for Empire of Sin and still appears as a tribute to Lansky because of his abilities with money. According to the Mob Museum, Lansky was also a prominent figure in New York City and was known as “The Crowd Accountant“because of his tendency to stay out of the spotlight and make smart investments. After Prohibition ended, Lansky invested in casinos and banks in the United States and abroad, and survived until 1983, when he died of lung cancer.

Real Life Empire Of Sin Boss – Frank Ragen

Real Life Empire of Sin Boss - Frank Ragen

Frank Ragen was the leader of the Ragen Colts, which played a role in the Chicago race riot in 1919, according to the Chicago Encyclopedia. The Colts attempted to provoke Polish and Lithuanian immigrants into a bloody feud with African-American immigrants, which seems at odds with their subsequent actions against the Ku Klux Klan. During Prohibition, Ragen’s Colts began to smuggle and were eventually absorbed into Capone’s Chicago Outfit.

Real Life Empire Of Sin Bosses – Sai Wing Mock

Real Life Empire of Sin Boss - Sai Wing Mock

Sai Wing Mock, also known as Mock Duck, was another prominent New York gangster featured in Empire of Sin. He was one of the mainstays of Chinatown. Mock is said to have survived several assassination attempts by frequently wearing a chain mail vest, earning him the nickname “the clay pigeon of Chinatown”.

Real Life Empire Of Sin Boss – Elvira Duarte

Real Life Empire of Sin Boss - Elvira Duarte

According to Polygon, Elvira Duarte in Empire of Sin is based on the great-grandmother of John Romero, who founded Romero Games with his wife, Brenda. John Romero is best known for being the co-creator of LOSS, the fundamental FPS that survives today on modern consoles with Eternal DOOM.

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Romero’s great-grandmother, Elvira, ran businesses that served as facades for brothels in Nogales, Mexico, in the late 19th century. Elvira eventually retired from the world of prostitution by winning the Mexican lottery in the 1950s.

Real Life Empire Of Sin Boss – Daniel McKee Jackson

Real Life Empire of Sin Boss - Daniel McKee Jackson

Daniel McKee Jackson and his family moved from Pittsburgh to Chicago in 1892 and started a funeral home business, which was later a front for gambling rings. Jackson was active in politics and often sacrificed his own profits for that. other poorer members of Chicago’s black community could have respectable funerals for their deceased loved ones. It’s yet another real-world person featured in Empire of Sin.

Real Life Empire Of Sin Boss – Joseph Saltis

Real Life Empire of Sin Boss - Joseph Saltis

Joseph Saltis was a player in the Chicago Beer Wars, according to Crime magazine, alongside his partner Frank McErlane. Saltis supplied his gang’s underground bars with beer from his own breweries and had political ties to the Illinois State Senate. Saltis’ affinity for beer making translates into a bonus for his speakeasies in Empire of Sin, helping players to earn more money. After years of open violence between Chicago unions, Saltis managed to withdraw to Wisconsin, and its territory was seized by Al Capone. Saltis later died of an ulcer at the age of 53.

Next: Empire Of Sin Review: Ragged Riches

Sources: The American Mafia, Crime magazine, Chicago Encyclopedia, GameWatcher, Internet Archives, The crowd museum (Meyer lansky, Stephanie St. Clair), Polygon

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