George "Baby Face" Nelson was born Lester Joseph Gillis on Dec. 6, 1908, in an area of Chicago known as "the Patch." He was the seventh child of Belgium immigrants Joseph and Mary Gillis.
Baby Face Nelson was a name given to him due to his youthful appearance and small stature. He was first arrested in 1921, at the age of 13, for car theft and was sentenced to a year in a juvenile correctional facility. He was arrested again in 1922 on a similar charge; this time the sentence was 18 months.
In 1931, Nelson was arrested and tried on a bank robbery charge. He was sentenced to a term of 1 to 10 years in the infamous Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet. While serving his term, he was tried and convicted another bank robbery charge in Wheaton, Illinois. He escaped custody while en-route back to prison in Joliet from his trial in Wheaton. He eventually ended up in Sausalito, California, where he met John Paul Chase, a small-time thief, bootlegger and smuggler. They took an instant liking to each other, and would be associated for the rest of their lives.
Nelson continued to live outside the law and on the run, moving between Chicago and California. On November 27, 1934, Nelson was spotted near Barrington, Illinois in a stolen car and chased down by agents. Nelson was critically wounded in a shoot out, he would die later that evening. During the chase, Agent Herman Edward Hollis was also shot and killed.
Nelson was responsible for the murder of several people, and has the dubious distinction of having killed more FBI agents in the line of duty than any other person.