The Most Famous Black Gangster: Uncovering History's Notorious Figures

Choose the black gangster you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 11, 2024 08:04
Step into the world of notorious outlaws and infamous kingpins as we present to you the ultimate ranking showdown: "Who is the most famous black gangster?" From legendary crime bosses to street-savvy mobsters, our list features the most infamous names that have left an indelible mark on the criminal underworld. But we need your help to crown the true king of gangland! Browse through our carefully curated list of history's most notorious black gangsters and cast your vote for the one who you think reigns supreme. Can't find your favorite crime lord on our list? Worry not, as you can also suggest a missing option and let others join the fray. So, come on and immerse yourself in the thrilling world of organized crime, and let's determine once and for all who truly is the most famous black gangster!

Who Is the Most Famous Black Gangster?

  1. 1
    Although not specifically a "black" gangster, Capone was known for his alliances with African-American gangsters and his involvement in the illegal liquor trade during Prohibition.
    Al Capone in other rankings
  2. 2
    Frank Lucas
    United States Government · Public domain
    A Harlem drug lord in the 1960s and 70s, Lucas made millions selling heroin and was famously portrayed by Denzel Washington in the film American Gangster.
    Frank Lucas in other rankings
  3. 3
    A notorious gangster in Harlem during the 1930s and 40s, Johnson was known for his leadership of the "Policy" numbers racket and his rivalry with Dutch Schultz.
  4. 4
    A drug kingpin in the 1970s, Barnes was known as "Mr. Untouchable" for his ability to evade law enforcement. He later turned informant and helped bring down many of his former associates.
  5. 5
    The founder of the Chicago street gang the Gangster Disciples, Hoover was known for his leadership and organizational skills. He is currently serving a life sentence in federal prison.
  6. 6
    Freeway Ricky Ross
    Patrick Bastien Photography · Copyrighted free use
    A drug dealer in Los Angeles in the 1980s, Ross was one of the largest distributors of crack cocaine in the country. He was eventually arrested and spent many years in prison.
  7. 7
    A former member of the Supreme Team drug crew in Queens, McGriff went on to become a major player in the hip-hop industry, managing the careers of artists like 50 Cent and Ja Rule. He is currently serving a life sentence in federal prison.
  8. 8
    Stanley "Tookie" Williams
    California Dept. of Corrections · Public domain
    The co-founder of the Crips street gang, Williams spent many years in prison before becoming an anti-gang activist and author. He was executed in 2005.
  9. 9
    A drug lord in Oakland, California in the 1980s, Mitchell was known for his ruthless tactics and his involvement in the crack cocaine trade. He was killed in prison in 1986.
  10. 10
    Raymond Washington
    State of California · Public domain
    The co-founder of the Crips street gang, Washington was killed in 1979. His legacy lives on, however, in the many gangs that have been influenced by the Crips over the years.

Missing your favorite black gangster?


Ranking factors for famous black gangster

  1. Notoriety
    The level of infamy and publicity that each gangster has garnered through their criminal endeavors.
  2. Impact on society
    The impact that each gangster has had on their community, as well as the wider society, through their criminal activities and other contributions.
  3. Criminal record
    The number and severity of crimes committed by each gangster.
  4. Pop culture influence
    The extent to which each gangster has been depicted in popular culture, including movies, television shows, and music.
  5. Legacy
    The lasting impact that each gangster has had on the criminal underworld and the broader society, including any positive or negative contributions.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous black gangster. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or gangster is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 177 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each gangster once every 24 hours. The rank of each gangster is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most famous black gangster

The world of organized crime has long been a fascination for many, and the realm of black gangsters holds a particular intrigue. From notorious figures like Al Capone to modern-day gangsters, the black underworld has produced its own share of infamous characters. But who is the most famous black gangster? The answer is not a simple one, as the world of organized crime is shrouded in secrecy and myth. However, there are a few names that stand out in the annals of black gangster history. From the Harlem Renaissance to the crack epidemic of the 1980s, these figures have left an indelible mark on American culture and history. Join us as we explore the lives and legends of some of the most famous black gangsters of all time.

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