Taylor Dukes
Taylor Dukes

Taylor Dukes

Founded Founded in or near Near West Side
Founding story

Founded in the Near West Side near Taylor and Throop in Little Italy

Formerly known as

Taylor Street Dukes

Affiliations Give details
Colors Light blue and Dark blue
Primary ethnicities White (Italian)
Symbols Coat of Arms
Status Extinct

I am not sure exactly when the Taylor Dukes started up but I strongly believe the founding year was 1953 because that was the year many gangs started to appear in the Near West Side neighborhood near Little Italy.  Gangs like Egyptian Cobras and the Imperials are verified to have started on these streets in that year 1954 and the Egyptian Cobras were arch rivals of the Taylor Dukes.  The Dukes graduated high school by 1959 so it would make sense for them to have formed in 1953 when they started junior high school.

The Taylor Dukes started on the corner of Taylor Street and Throop Street as the Dukes hung out with another Italian greaser gang called the Taylor Nobles.  The Dukes were mainly an Italian gang but they took in American born Mexicans into the gang because they were not necessarily opposed to Mexicans they were more opposed to Puerto Ricans and blacks that were moving in from other neighborhoods or in the case of Puerto Ricans, coming from another country. The Dukes were probably the toughest of all the greaser gangs in the Little Italy area as they dominated a lot of Taylor Street.  The Dukes also kept allies with all the Italian gangs of Taylor Street, the opposition was against black gangs like Egyptian Cobras and Imperial Champlains.  The Dukes also fought against Mexican gangs.

By 1958 the organization was run by Gary Calabrese (Chicago Tribune Page 14 Oct 5, 1958) and it is likely that he may have been the one to pass everything down to the young Taylor Jousters in about 1959 or 1960. Calabrese could have even been the founder.  The Dukes became a little less active by 1961 then closed down in 1966 leaving everything to the Taylor Street Jousters.

Please send in 1950s and 1960s pics of Taylor Dukes.


  1.  What exact year did the Dukes form? 1954?
  2. Who was the founder and what happened to him?
  3. What corners did the Dukes run?
  4. What exact year did the Dukes go extinct? 1966?
  5. Who were the main enemies of the Dukes besides the Egyptian Cobras?
  6. What happened to Gary Calabrese?
  7. Who were the leaders before Gary Calabrese and what happened to them?