Founded Founded in 1970 by Bobby G
Founding story

Founded in Pilsen near 18th and Bishop

Affiliations People Nation — 1978 – 2000 or later;
Colors Black and Copper
Primary ethnicities Latino (Mexican)
Symbols Bishop's Head, Bishop's Hat, and Cross
Symbol usage

Cross with a line resting on top of each point of the cross

Status Active

The story of the Bishops goes back to the early 1970s in the Pilsen section of the Lower West Side neighborhood. Bobby G was the founder of the Bishops in 1970,  Some original members were Lil Mike, Bobby Bull, Bobby Bear, and Blackie.  The Bishops formed at 18th and Bishop.

The Bishops became very close allies with the Latin Counts. Bishops and Counts had close family ties and perhaps the Counts wanted the Bishops to join but the Bishops wanted to go their own way but would vow to fight alongside the Counts in the wars against Ambrose and the Satan Disciples.  The two gangs did become very close and they also hung out with the Latin Brothers, Laflin Lovers and Racine Boys.

In the year 1971, war started with the Latin Kings when one of the Latin King top leaders Raul “Rayo” Gonzalez shot and killed one of the Uncles of the Bishops after a dance party at a school.

From the start, the Bishops have always been known to be crazy and one of the tougher gangs in Pilsen.  Eventually the Bishops spread to 19th and Bishop and they made their way across Ashland Ave to take 18th and Wood and 18th and Paulina on the west becoming the only gang to truly square off on 18th Street with the Satan Disciples in West Pilsen that ruled from 18th and California to 18th and Wolcott.  The Counts were running 18th and Ashland down to 18th and Laflin, then the Bishops were back on the east of the Counts at 18th and Bishop and they had territory at 18th and Halsted to 18th and Desplains on the far east side of Pilsen.

In April, 1978 the People Nation alliance was created in the prison system and since the Latin Counts and Bishops were so closely united the Bishops were able to be accepted into the People Nation right away in 1978.

In the year 1980, the Bishops opened new territory at 53rd and Winchester.  The Bishops arrived at the same time as more Mexican families were settling in the Back of the Yards community.  when the Bishops arrived here they had no allies as they battled the many Folk gangs along with Saints and Latin Kings.  The first leader of the Bishops was shot in the head with a shotgun in 1982 killing him in a violent way.

In about the very early 1980s, war erupted between Bishops and Racine Boys when a party they threw together went bad.  A brawl broke out at the party and one of the Racine Boys shot a Bishop Jimmy paralyzing him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.  The Bishops got even later by killed a Racine Boy.  The Counts also involved themselves in this war against the Racine Boys causing Racine Boys to go join the Folk alliance in 1981.

Between the 1970s and 1980s the Bishops grew in Pilsen even more to have a presence within the area of 16th Street to 21st Street and Ashland to Damen.  The Bishops ventured further into the Heart of Chicago section of the Lower West Side neighborhood to open up 21st and California which was exactly one block away from the Two Two Boys and a few blocks away from the Two Ones which brought more war.  The Bishops united with the Cullerton Deuces and Artistic Kents (Stone Kents) in that area.  Eventually the Bishops would spread into the southern part of the Bridgeport neighborhood at 37th and Wallace and 37th and Lituanica (Donovan Park).  The conquest of new territory also took the Bishops to take 51st to 52nd and  Maplewood in the Gage Park neighborhood.  The Bishops also advanced on 53rd and Wolcott in the Back of The Yards section of the New City neighborhood.

In the year 1992 the war between Latin Kings and Bishops came to an end when a key Bishop member united the two organizations together while behind bars.  This arrangement caused tension within the BCN as now bishops were allies with one of the Latin Counts’ worst enemies but the BCN remained in tact.

In the year 1995, the BCN alliance was declared extinct when the Bishops declared an end to the relationship.  This didn’t mean war was to begin it just meant they would no longer have a real tight alliance.  This is when Bishops began to grow closer with the Latin Kings, a relationship that has been in tact up to present day from when this was written.  The Latin Counts were very upset about this and bad blood developed between Counts and Bishops until it popped off into war in January 1996.

In January of 1996 Bishops and Counts got into an argument at a party.  The Bishops would not calm down after the altercation and later that night one of the Bishops strolled to the outside of the Latin Count gang members’ home and shouted disrespectful things about the Latin Counts then started shooting at the house but did not hit his intended target instead he shot the gang members’ girlfriend in the chest, she died instantly.  Later on that night a Latin Count named “Rhino” gunned down a Bishop named “Chuco” to avenge the death of the Counts’ girlfriend.  This started a vicious war between Bishops and Counts that would live on until present day.

After all the years of partying together, backing each other up in fights and being willing to die for each other for over two decades came to screeching halt as the two would now engage in a vicious gang war within the People alliance that was not fixable except in prison.

All these gang wars did become costly for the Bishops; therefore, they eventually closed their operations in the Back of The Yards, Gage Park,  Bridgeport and Berwyn.  The Bishops also lost 18th and 19th and Bishop a very long time ago but nobody else claimed these territories that I know of since the Bishops left.  The Bishops have always kept the rest of their Pilsen territories into the 21st Century.  The Bishops have had a lot of down members over the years.

The Bishops spread far to the quad cities in the suburb of Moline in 1992 when “shorty B” colonized that area.  Another big landing in the early to mid 1980s is when the Bishops arrived in the suburb of Cicero at 24th and 61st and they recruited quite heavily in that suburb and expanded to open up in the suburb of Berwyn.

Please send in old school pics


  1. What year did Gage Park, Brighton Park, Bridgeport and 21st and Cal open up?

Sections of the Bishops past and present

Back of the Yards neighborhood Established 1980

Sections of Back of the Yards

53rd & Wolcott

53rd & Winchester Established 1980

Bridgeport neighborhood Established 1987-2000s

Sections of Bridgeport

35th to 37th, Sangamon to Wallace (George Park, Joseph Park) Established 1987-2000s

Brighton Park neighborhood

Sections of Brighton Park

40th & Sacramento

Gage Park neighborhood

Sections of Gage Park

Maplewood from 51st to 52nd

Heart of Chicago neighborhood 80s-present years

Sections of Heart of Chicago

16th 21st, Ashland to Damen (18th Street De La Bishops) 80s-present years

Marshall Square neighborhood 70s, 80s

Sections of Marshall Square

21st & California 70s, 80s

Pilsen neighborhood Established 1970-2000s (still active but in Heart of Chicago neighborhood A.K.A West Pilsen, see my Heart of Chicago page)

Sections of Pilsen

18th from Halsted to Des Plains

Bishop to Laflin, 18th to 19th Established 1970-2000s





Cicero Established 1992 61st from Cermak to 23rd

East Moline


Rock Island

Davenport, IA