Many cities and times have seen active gangs
and gang members congregating and controlling territory, however in the 1950s and 60s the youth gangs in the Bronx
, New York, emerged with a particular notoriety.
Mid twentieth-century Bronx gangs
Gangs of the Bronx included
- the Fordham Baldies
- the Ducky Boys Gang aka the Ducky Gang
- the Fordham Flames
- the Golden Guineas (a predominantly Italian American gang)
- the Villa Avenue Gang
- the Bailey Gang
In popular culture
- Richard Price's novel The Wanderers and movie of the same name starring young Ken Wahl and Karen Allen document early Bronx gangs. Much of the film was shot in the neighborhoods depicted, including the residential neighborhoods, the armed forces recruiting center on the Fordham Road overpass above the Grand Concourse, and Krum's ice cream parlor 100 yards/meters south on the Grand Concourse. Although the movie's heroes, The Wanderers were fictitious, the movie's villains were explicitly named The Fordham Baldies.
- A Bronx Tale depicts gang activities in the Belmont "Little Italy" section of the Bronx
- Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets is set in Manhattan, but has similar sensibilities.
- Bronx filmmaker James Hannon is currently working on a documentary series on Bronx Gangs of 1950s & 1960s. The first in the series will be about the Ducky Boys Gang -- A real 1960s gang that was portrayed in the fictional movie The Wanderers. This documentary is slated to be released in early 2008. The 2nd in the series after that will be the Fordham Baldies - another real 1950's gang in the Bronx featured in the The Wanderers
There were two other Bronx gangs in the early fifties (holdover gangs that were active in 1949) The first of these two were the Fordham Aggies which were basically an Irish gang that emanated out of Decatur Avenue from Fordham Road to 194 St and hung out in Scotti's poolroom as well as in the H&H ice cream parlor. In fact there were two major gang fights between them and the Fordham Baldies. The Aggies won the first, the second was a stand off.
The other gang was the "Shamrocks" which were a formidable man for man gang, but which never had any major confrontations because just their exixtence alone scared everybody off. They were a gang around the Inwood section of upper Manhattan.
Rumors often swept Bronx high schools in the 1950s and 1960s that "the Baldies were coming" to confront the student body, at the generally docile Bronx High School of Science
and the more macho, all-male DeWitt Clinton High School
. Such rumors would often bring along a large police presence, and long disruptions.
The Fordham Baldies were reputed to shave the heads, and other body parts, of those they caught. This was found to be a nice touch in the Wanderers movie, but in reality, the Fordham Baldies were named for the Bald Eagle and had the Duck's Ass or "D.A." hairstyle made famous by Tony Curtis and Fonzie from Happy Days