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Do you know what notorious gangster spent the last few hours of his life in Wilmette? The answer is “Baby Face” Nelson.
Nelson was born Lester Gillis and raised in Chicago. After changing his name to George Nelson, someone gave him the nickname “Baby Face,” probably because of his diminutive stature and youthful look, and influenced by the 1926 hit song of the same name.
In 1934, after committing a string of bank robberies and murders, some in collaboration with John Dillinger, Nelson became the FBI’s “Public Enemy Number One” at age 25.