Chicago CORP Gang | The CORP
History of the CORP
The CORP started out as a merger of three gangs from the early to mid 1960s: Mohawk Street (Mohawks), Hudson Street (Hudson’s), and the Cleveland Jammers. The Mohawks were the older guys and brought a lot of experience to the gang. The name CORP was taken from members of the St. Michael's High School Drum and Bugle Corp, hence the name the Corp. In 1970-71, the CORP considered themselves one of the largest white gangs in Chicago at that time. The older guys hung at a playlot across from Gas For Less on Armitage between Mohawk and Hudson. Their symbol was a cross with three points above it. There emblem was a cross as part of the capital C. They used initials to represent their four sections:
- Sedgwick CORP SSC
- Belden and Burling CORP BBC
- Magnolia St. CORP MSC
- Cuyler Street CORP CSC
- CSC CORP was across from Lakeview School.
- Norridge, ILL. section
The CORP’s neighborhood was mainly German and Italian, but their membership was made up of German, Italian, Polish, Turks, Mexican, and one Chinese greaser. During the 60s, the neighborhood just north of the Cabrini Green Housing Projects was made up of run down tenement apartments with a lot of abandon buildings.
1970 was a violent year for the CORP. They fought some serious gang fights with the Dayton and Armitage Latin Kings. It got so bad that the Chicago Police assigned a gang squad unit to the Waller High School area. The unkept field across from Waller High School was referred to as Vietnam for all the fighting and the jungle look about the place.
Their biggest rivals were the Dayton and Armitage Latin Kings and the Young Lords. The Latin Kings shared a corner with the Young Lords. At the time, the Young Lords had a church on that same corner. They also fought the Cobra Stones, Clybourn Corrupters, Disciples, Black Deuces aka Deuces Wild, Black Angels, and had some minor humbugs with the newly emerging Simon City Royals who were allied with the Harrison Gents.
Cobra Stones and Deuces Wild
The CORP fought many fights against the Cobra Stones and the Deuces Wild gangs from the Cabrini Green Projects. CORP members were shot at many times driving down Larrabee past the projects. The situation was tense between the CORP and the Black gangs within the projects until the 1970 shooting incident of two Chicago Patrolmen, where Sgt. James Severin and Officer Anthony Razzato were killed by snipers. At that time, the Chicago Police had a Walk and Talk program which was trying to get to know the community and Parlay a peace treaty between the Black gangs: Deuces Wild (aka Black Deuces), Cobra Stones and the Black Disciples when the shootings occurred. After the shootings, the CPD came down hard on the projects which eased tensions between the Black and gangs and the CORP due to increased pressure on the project. The CORP was then free to concentrate on their other enemies, the Latin Kings and the Black Angels to their north.
The area north of Cabrini Green. They defended their turf along North Avenue.
Cabrini Green's Final Hour Videos
Last Cabrini Highrise Demolition by Artistmac
A series of videos showing the demolition of the last Cabrini-Green highrise building.
The Popes, Patch, Chi-West, Aristocrats, Bel-Aires, Howard Street Greasers, TJO, and another white gang for Rogers Park called the Kings. Also, they had two MC Club affiliations: Night Riders and the American Outlaws.
CORP and Rising Up Angry
The CORP had a luke warm relationship with the organization Rising Up Angry. The reason: Rising Up Angry tried to broker a treaty between the Dayton and Armitage Latin Kings and the CORP. RUA set a spot for five members of both gangs to meet to parlay this treaty. Something went wrong and a CORP member ended up beaten up badly and in the hospital. After that botched up meeting, the CORP did not participate in anymore RUA events.
The CORP lasted into the mid 1970s. A lot of the members ended up serving in Vietnam and going on with their lives. Some of the CORP members who served in Vietnam ended up back in the neighborhood helping their gang and teaching them new survivals skills.
The CORP had greaser chicks who were known as the CORPettes.
The CORP did not wear colors. If you were a greaser, you wore gray baggies, and you were in the area of West North Avenue and Larrabee Street you were a Corp member, plain and simple. Their turf was so deep that they did not share it with any other club.
Area of Cabrini Green
Prior to the construction of the Cabrini-Green Housing project, the area that was destroyed to make room for the towers was a Sicilian Ghetto known as "Little HELL", which was known for its two families per apartment, and one bathroom per floor tenement buildings. The Sicilians who were forced to move from this area ended up in the neighborhoods of Grand and Noble, and Grand and Harlem.
The CORP from an Aristocrat
I never mentioned it before but The Corp were some down Greasers. They asked us once to go into the Projects with them to get The then Black Disciples, we declined and they went without us! I worked with an old Black Disciple years later who told me the story from their side, he said they had balls to come into the projects, and they stood and fought too! until they started getting busted up, he showed respect for them. We declined because we knew it would be viewed as racial and not gang related and the whole projects would empty out on the white boys. As far as I know, no White gang ever went into the projects after Black Disciples or any other Black Gang. I'm talking Cabrini Green projects.
Belden and Burling CORP
An ex-BBC member tells about his set: I was affiliated with all branches of the Corp street gang. I began hanging out and tagging along when I was 12 yrs old. I lived at Hudson & Armitage (Gas For Less) from 1963-till late 70’s. I was a charter member of our new branch, Belden & Burling Corp (BBC). There was Crazy Joe, Hannon, Rat, Moonshine, Yunk, Klepto, Lil Rat, The Cubans (Eugene and his brother), Mike C. (CYO Golden Gloves Champ), and there was also Sonny and his brother as well. We had a no interference treaty with the guards at the McCormick Theological Seminary and since it was a Theological Seminary we were free from police interference as well. We were integrated with the other Corp members many of us having dual memberships with Hudson, Mohawk, Cleveland Corp as well as the NP Moors.
I was also affiliated with “CORP and Rising Up Angry” years later as a married man my newest neighbors were Pete and his Girlfriend (former writer for RUA). He questioned me as to whether I would be spray painting my name on his garage….We had a nostalgic laugh together.
The CORP by former BBC/KGC set member
Early 70's Lil' Rat returned from Vietnam and began reconstituting CORP, which became an expansive, respected and well run organization of about 200 that included:
- Belden Burling CORP
- Hudson Street CORP
- Sedwick Street CORP (ash playlot @ Mohawk/Wisconsin)
- Kemper Geveva CORP
- Magnolia Street CORP (The Family)
- And the top spot leadership role in alliances with: The original Insane Unknowns Lincoln/Wrightwood (El Taco Loco & Carbons yard) & Alcott school at Orchard/Burling (Capone, whom I knew was a not yet indoctrinated to UK's still a Wrightwood boy).
- Latin Saints - Indisputable... as I was there and in.
- The CORP - Unknowns alliance became a merger in 1974-75, and created a significant undisputed territorial presence, North Ave to Diversey, the lake to Racine.
Expansive Territory with alliances Lake-front down North Ave to Racine to Belmont and back east to the lake:
- Lincoln school
- Waller HS (Lincoln Park HS)
- St. Michael's
- Oscar Meyer
Constant alliance issues with Unknowns and PBC's fighting and CORP as mediator, and alliance regular violence with Harrison Gents, Deuces, Kings, Royals.
CORP structural leadership included:
- Top heavy seniors from Belden & Burling and Hudson.
- Jr's from Hudson, Sedwick, Old Town/Ash Playlot.
- Pee-wee's (which were deep and strong; don't let the title fool you) at Hudson, Magnolia, Kemper & Geneva.
Colors: Maroon and White
Almighty CORP Nation
1976 a set was raided off Diversey and Halsted, with Senior leadership locked up, when Lil' Rat was killed at the 19th Belmont and Western. Ruled a suicide, but none believed it as he was feared and hated by 18th and 19th CPD divisions.
Subsequently, the Unknowns tried to seize BBC and KGC, leading to a war that saw many violent acts and CORP members become Harrison Gents, Old Town. Gents aligning with the SCRN partially due to that conflict.