Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  John J. McPhaul  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1904 in Chicago, Illinois

-- John J. McPhaul on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

John was born and raised in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

John began working for the Chicago Herald-Examiner, in 1923 as a reporter, then became night city editor at the Chicago Times which became the Sun-Times in 1942. During his career he was a news reporter, sports writer, book editor, and feature writer. McPhaul is best remembered as one of the two investigative journalists whose stories contributed to the release of Joseph Majczek, a man wrongfully convicted of murder.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Deadlines & Monkeyshines: The Fabled World of Chicago Journalism

Prentice-Hall, Inc.. 1962

Ever since 1835, when Chicago first became a two newspaper town, rival publishers, editors and reporters have been doing their utmost to beat or embarrass the competition. In this book you will read about some of the wildest city room stunts and antics ever perpetrated by members of Chicago's unpredictable Fourth Estate.

Johnny Torrio: First of the Gang Lords
ISBN: 0870000969

Arlington House. 1970

Who was the father of the Syndicate, the Mob, Cosa Nostra? No, it wasn't Al Capone. It was Al Capone's boss..a quiet visionary of vice named Johnny J.T. Torrio, a man so mysterious that for 50 years he was unknown to most mobsters, let alone the law. So well did Johnny Torrio cover his tracks that only now can the real story be told. The recent opening of long-sealed federal document has made possible the publication of this book, the first full-length biography of the man Washington top cops called 'the smartest of all the hoodlums.'

Crime reporter Jack McPhaul traces from Torrio's birthplace in Italy to his adolescent apprenticeship in Little Old New York to the stormy, husky Chicago of the Big Shoulders. McPhaul's vivid, racy prose makes gas-lit brothels, quaint extortion threats, white slavers, Black Handers, and horse-and-buggy holdups as real and as menacing as n up-to-date mugger lurking in an alley. Into this t-run-of-the-century jungle ambled young Johnny... so softspoken that no one realized until too late that he had become one of the colossi of crime...and one of the few farsighted enough to see the profits in Prohibition.

The result: Chicago becomes a bloody, gin-soaked arena as Torrio and his pals pump lead into each other and occasionally into slow-moving citizens.