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Made in Chicago: "There's a sucker born every minute." previous 14 of 18 next


'There's a sucker born every minute.' Irish immigrant Michael ("King Mike") Cassius McDonald, who ran Chicago's first crime syndicate, is said to have coined this phrase. According to legend, it was his explanation for how he planned to get enough customers for his gigantic, four-story gambling house. This casino-like palace, "the Store," was located close to City Hall, and it provided a gathering place for Democratic politicians as well as unsuspecting gamblers. McDonald obtained the cooperation of the police force, politicians, and an army of skilled confidence men to run his rigged games.

McDonald's criminal activities prefigured those of Al Capone and other Chicago gangsters.

King Mike is also credited with saying, "Never give a sucker an even break."

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