Eliot Ness (April 19, 1903 – May 16, 1957) was an American Prohibition agent, famous for his efforts to enforce Prohibition in Chicago, Illinois, and the leader of a legendary team of law enforcement agents nicknamed The Untouchables.
Eliot Ness was born April 19, 1903 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the youngest of five siblings born to Norwegian immigrants, Peter and Emma Ness. Ness attended Christian Fenger High School in Chicago. He was educated at the University of Chicago, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, graduating in 1925 with a degree in business and law. He began his career as an investigator for the Retail Credit Company of Atlanta. He was assigned to the Chicago territory, where he conducted background investigations for the purpose of credit information. He returned to the University to take a course in criminology, eventually earning a Master's Degree in the field.
In 1926, Ness' brother-in-law, Alexander Jamie, a Bureau of Investigation agent (this became the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, in 1935), influenced Ness to enter law enforcement. He joined the U.S. Treasury Department in 1927, working with the 300-strong Bureau of Prohibition, in Chicago.