Easy Eddie O’Hare’s criminal dealings with infamous crime boss Al Capone ultimately ended in his murder. But Eddie’s son, Butch, became a flying ace who rewrote his family’s legacy.
By Aimee Lamoureux
Edward J. O’Hare, commonly known as Easy Eddie, helped nab notorious mobster Al Capone at his own expense. The ambitious man had hoped to pass on his lifestyle to his son, Edward “Butch” O’Hare, who later became a flying ace in World War II. Like his father, Butch was also a man of action. But his actions proved nobler than his father’s and managed to rewrite his family’s legacy from one of crime to one of virtuosity.
Though not from Chicago, their lives had become inextricably tied to the city — and the crime boss who ran it. That city, in turn, honored their redemptive legacy with the naming of the Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
Before he struck it rich as an infamous lawyer and wealthy president of the Sportsman’s Park racetrack, Edward J. O’Hare — who was later known to his unsavory business associates as Easy Eddie — was just an ambitious Irish businessman from St. Louis, Missouri.