|Founded||Founded in 1954 by Crazy Joe in or near Near West Side|
Founded in Near West Side in Little Italy at Taylor and Halsted.
2000 or later;
SGD / La Tabla;
|Colors||Black and Light blue|
|Primary ethnicities||Latino (Mexican)|
|Symbols||Spear, A, and Knight's Helmet|
Spear with a letter “A” in it, knights helmet (right-facing)
Ambrose was formed in 1954 in the Little Italy section of the Near West Side neighborhood by 7 boys that were around pre-teen age. Ambrose formed at Taylor and Halsted. Crazy Joe was the one who founded Ambrose. There is evidence that I presented below of their existence in 1959 but I have heard there is written evidence that dates back to 1956. They may have formed in 1954 because that was the same year their enemies formed like Imperials, Taylor Dukes and Egyptian Cobras. The Taylor Dukes were the main reason for Ambrose formation as the Dukes ruled Taylor Street for the most part. Taylor Street was divided by several different Italian greaser gangs that all had the common goal of protecting Little Italy and because of this all these gangs were allies. Ambrose was different and did not pledge into this allegiance and were started by an Italian youth and other Italian and Mexican youths. from the start, most Ambrose members were Mexican. Ambrose also battled heavily with the Royal Kings and in the late 50s and early 60s their wars were legendary and even documented by Social Services.
Ambrose by definition means “immortal,” and this may have been why the original 7 founders chose this name.
There is solid evidence that Ambrose was around as far back as March of 1959 when a social services report listed a gang called “Ambrose” that was served by the Hull House which is located at 800 S. Halsted in the Near West Side neighborhood in the Little Italy/University Village section which is right in the old neighborhood.
By the year 1959, more highway construction continued in the Near West Side community. The intersection of Halsted and Taylor became a prime location for city urban renewal programs and this forced Ambrose out of their original turf. Ambrose then moved out of the neighborhood alongside a wave of Hispanic migration leaving the Little Italy area that year.
In the year 1959, Ambrose migrated to the Pilsen neighborhood landing at the intersection of 18th and Throop which started an all new chapter for them. It was said that an Ambrose named Joe Alba started the Pilsen branch in 1959. other original Ambrose that moved to 18th from Taylor Street were “Leek” who passed away recently, “Wino,” “Puffy,” “Bozo,” Tony Agular, the Moya Brothers, “Dragon” and Big Rudy Gonzalez who also passed recently.
As soon as Ambrose formed in Pilsen, they immediately wanted to dominate all down 18th street and gangs like the Spartans, Rampants, Morgan Deuces, Satan Disciples and Latin Counts were in their way. Ambrose immediately made a name for themselves by battling these top clubs all around them while they played baseball in their leisure time.
The 1960s was a time for both Ambrose and Latin Counts to start absorbing smaller clubs, just like Black P Stones and Black Disciples were doing in the black neighborhoods and it was at this point in time when Ambrose built a very strong presence at 21st and Paulina “Wildside.” The gang wars between the two would rage on into the early 1970s. At this point in time Ambrose got involved in the drug trade and so did their rivals the Latin Counts and Satan Disciples and now with drug turf at stake meant more war.
Either in the 1960s but no later than the early 1970s Ambrose territory grew tremendously as they took the northern part of Pilsen from Halsted Street on the east to May Street on the west, then 16th Street on the north and 18th Street on the south, this chunk was all the heart of Ambrose territory but was outside of 18th and Throop. Ambrose hung out in front of Lacos Bar at 18th Place and Carpenter and in front of Trebols Liqour Store (1135 W 18th St) located at 18th and May. Ambrose conquered Dvork Park (1119 W Cullerton St, Chicago, IL ) and allowed gangs like the Racine Boys and Morgan Boys to hang out there as long as it was understood that is was Ambrose territory. When Rose Park (Boogie Park, 821 W 19th St, Chicago, IL, now known as Guadalupe Reyes Park since 2004) opened in the early 1970s Ambrose was first to stake claim of the park.
In the 1970s or earlier Ambrose opened the “Wild Side” territory on 21st in the Heart of Chicago (West Pilsen) neighborhood which would become a permanent fixture for Ambrose in the city.
Even though Ambrose had some designated territory they always felt free to roam all over the streets of Pilsen even in enemy territory, they gladly flaunted who they were.
In the early 1970s Salvador Munoz was running Ambrose in Pilsen.
In the year 1973, Ambrose met with the Black Gangster Disciples and worked in collaboration with Simon City Royals and Ashland Vikings to arrange a business deal. These gangs would carry out hits for each other to protect their alibis. This was also the first unity before the Folk Nation.
On April 24, 1974 Munoz shot at a police officer because the officer was investigating violence between Ambrose and Bishops. When the officer wanted to talk to Munoz he allegedly opened fire and shot the cop, he ended up being convicted and was put in prison in 1975. After Munoz Louis Limas was said to have stepped up as leader but Limas was convicted in 1974 of shooting rival Satan Disciple gang members at 1605 Fairfield (16th and Fairfield) in the North Lawndale neighborhood and was put in prison for a few years (People vs. Rodriguez, 1980) so perhaps there was a leader from about 1975 until about 1977 when Limas took over.
Sometime in 1975 Louie Limas was growing his organization incredibly and even was said to have owned a liquor store in Little Village around 26th and California, he was then assassinated my Reno “Maniac Mouse” Enriquez of the Latin Counts on August 17, 1979, this story made the newspaper but I am not sure if Enriquez was convicted. Limas was 26 years old when he was killed; therefore, he was too young to have been the founder of Ambrose. It was about this time around in 1975 Ambrose opened their Little Village chapter along 26th street that would last about 10 years. This was the first expansion outside of 18th street.
In the year 1977, Ambrose opened up territory in the Gage Park and Marquette Park neighborhoods simultaneously alongside the first Mexican migration to both these communities. Ambrose now settled between 58th to 63rd and from Kedzie to California making 63rd and Francisco the headquarters after they turned out the Francisco Boys crew. It all started at 59th and Homan then spread to Marquette Park after. 59th and Homan eventually closed in 1993 but the Marquette Park chapter remains successful. This became a major branch for Ambrose that would be permanent.
In the year 1978, Malo, who was the cousin of Two Two Boy founder Anna Esquivel and Cicero Two Two Boy founder Jimmy “Jimbo” Gomez, was coming around the 22nd and California area to make sure his cousin was doing alright. In the process this caused Ambrose to hang out with the newly formed Two Two Boys. Two Two Boys hung out with the 24th and Washtenaw Satan Disciples and the Two Two Boys were the buffer that prevented Ambrose and SDs from continuing their feud and a three way alliance was established, thus ending the long time war between SDs and Ambrose. At the same time Two Two Boys and Ambrose had family members in the Two Sixs and the alliance was extended to the Two Sixs and these four organizations teamed up against the Latin Kings and other common rivals. Ambrose, Satan Disciples and Two Six joined the Folk Nation together in 1978 but kept Two Two Boys as close allies.
Ambrose would migrate to the suburbs in the early 1980s as they arrived in suburbs like Carpentersville by 1982 or sooner.
In the year 1986 Ambrose would find themselves in the midst of their first interalliance war with a fellow Folk Nation gang that was one of the four south side Latin Folk street gangs that had established a brotherhood.
On November 7, 1986 Two Sixs from K-Town had claimed members of Ambrose shot at them and now Two Six was looking for revenge. Word was that there was an Ambrose party going on at 6318 South Washtenaw in the Marquette Park neighborhood. At about 8:30 P.M. the Two Sixs sent two female gang members to the party to scope it out, the girls were dressed in black and beige and were unfriendly so they were thrown out, but they gathered enough info to take back to fellow gang members. Later that night Two Six gang members Stoney, Jason Gray, Little Hulk, No-Neck Rabbit and Inky crashed the party that was being held in the basement according to court documents. They knocked on the door and when it was answered and the door opened, according to court documents, Jason Gray opened fire on the party then Manuel Bobe also known as Little Hulk opened fire as well. By the time the shooting stopped three people were killed and one was wounded (Illinois People Vs. Manuel Bobe, March 27, 1992). This started a major war between Ambrose and Two Sixs that never would end. By the year 1988 Ambrose was also at war with fellow Folk Nation gangs like La Raza mainly because La Raza was still heavily allied with Two Six. The war with La Raza didn’t last long and the two groups became allies again until the mid-1990s.
Ambrose went to war with the Party People by 1986 and in the year 1988, war worsened with the Party People after “Coca” flipped to becoming a Party People. Also, in 1988 Ambrose jumped Lil A-K and slashed his throat multiple times after he tried to buy PCP from them as a Party People. Coca felt he should be of higher rank in Ambrose but for whatever reason Ambrose didn’t move him up so Coca went to where he could be of higher rank. Once he flipped, he used his new position to start trouble with Ambrose and created a war. Coca himself was killed in 1994 or 1995 and stuffed into a garbage can on 31st Street in Little Village, it was said the Latin Kings killed him. Eventually by 1990 peace was reached with the Party People until the mid-1990s when war erupted again.
Ambrose continued to grow in the 1990s and this brought them new rivalries with fellow Folk Nation gangs in the early 1990s over drug turf. At this point in time the Folk Nation was no longer unified and wars were rampant on the streets and permitted. Ambrose went to war with the following Folk Nation gangs in the early 1990s; La Raza, Satan Disciples, Racine Boys, Maniac Latin Disciples. The only allies Ambrose had at this point was Two Two Boys and an off and on relationship with the Cullerton Deuces after they joined Folks in 1994.
Ambrose has also had a long standing relationship with the Gangster Disciples as both gangs were connected in the drug business in Marquette Park.
In the late 1980s, Ambrose began hanging out and partying with some north side gangs like Simon City Royals. This relationship with the Royals led Ambrose to join the “Almighty” family in 1994.
Ambrose became a large presence along 79th Street from the Ashburn community into the suburb or Burbank in the 1990s but by the 2000s these territories mostly closed, primarily in Ashburn but before it all closed 79th Street was legendary.
In the mid-1990s Ambrose opened up territory in the suburb of Cicero and members began settling in the South Chicago neighborhood. In the year 1997, Ambrose grew an official section in South Chicago at 87th and Houston that year and solidified an alliance with the Latin Dragons as they guided the Latin Dragons into the Folk alliance.
Ambrose had a lot of potential to grow into one of the top 10 largest gangs in the city but it was the police that majorly stunted the growth and crippled the operations of Ambrose with “Operation Blue Water” that shut down a major PCP lab in the year 2000 and caused many Ambrose to end up in prison. After the police sting Ambrose laid low around 18th and Throop but the police aggravated the situation by allowing rival La Raza gang members to hang out on 18th and Throop because the police were basically setting a trap for Ambrose to become angered and show up gangbanging on La Raza. They situation escalated when an undercover officer took things too far and walked down an alley shouting “Raza!” which got him shot but not killed. This caused the police to become more agitated about Ambrose and made it very tough for Ambrose to become fully visible back on 18th and Throop, however, they had so much more Pilsen turf like Dvork Park and presence in other neighborhoods.
Please send in old school pics but I would love to see some 1950s and 1960s pics!
- What exact year did Ambrose go to war with Satan Disciples?
Known sections of Ambrose past and present
Ashburn neighborhood 1990s
Sections of Ashburn
79th to 82nd, Knox to Kilbourn 90s
79th & Kostner 90s
Gage Park neighborhood Established 1977-1993
Sections of Gage Park
54th Pl & Claremont (The Wall)
59th & Homan (Homan Homicide) Established 1977-1993
Sections of Irving Park
Bertau to Belle Plaine, Spaulding to Sawyer
Heart of Chicago neighborhood 70s-present years
Sections of Heart of Chicago
19th to 23rd, Damen to Ashland (Wild Side) 70s-present years
Little Village neighborhood Established 1975-1985
Sections of Little Village
26th & Kolin Established 1975-1985
Marquette Park neighborhood Established 1977-present years
Sections of Marquette Park
60th to Marquette, Kedzie to California (Except Troy from 63rd to 64th, No Heart, Murda Town, Second City, Fran-Psycho) Established 1977-present years
Near West Side neighborhood Established 1954-1959
Sections of Near West Side
Taylor & Halsted Established 1954-1960
Pilsen neighborhood Established 1959-2001 (still active but in Heart of Chicago neighborhood A.K.A West Pilsen, see my Heart of Chicago page)
Sections of Pilsen
16th to Cullerton, May to Halsted (Maniac Side)
18th & Throop (Headquarters) Established 1960
South Chicago neighborhood Established 1995-present years
Sections of South Chicago
86th to 87th, Baltimore to Houston Established 1995-present years
Aurora New York & Anderson
Burbank 77th-79th & Nagle (Ill Town), 79th & Lavergne (Pimp City), 81st & Narragansett
Cicero 35th & Laramie, 36th & Austin
Oak Lawn 99th and McVicker