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Gangster Business Cards from the 1970s

Gangster Business Cards from the 1970s

Despite the rise of smartphones and digital ways to swap info, the humble business card remains the calling card of the professional. In the ’70s and ’80s, however, it wasn’t just the salesmen who carried them around. Chicago gangs used to carry business cards that informed recipients of their name, territory, and list of enemies. Brandon Johnson, a Chicagoan who discovered such a card in his father’s attic, set out to share some examples. Johnson searched far and wide for examples, which he’s since included in his book, Thee Almighty & Insane. The book highlights 60 examples of gang business cards, some of which you can see above. Looks like members of the Simon-City Royals, Insane Unknowns, and Future Chicago Players could find work at a graphic design firm after their days of illegally acquiring money were over.

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