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The Latin Kings are said to have roots that date back to the 1920s or 1930s in New York city but under a different name.  In the early half of the 20th century, many Puerto Rican immigrants moved to the city of New York, and as they arrived some began to form gangs and/or political movements that followed many ways of old Puerto Rico movements.  Some prominent groups were the Young Lords, FLN, and the Noble Knights (the likelihood that these Noble Knights have any relation to the Noble Knights from Cicero is minimal).  The most likely group that had any ties to the Latin Kings that arrived in Chicago later was the Noble Knights.  Oral traditions have stated that “Papa King” who was Latin King founder in Chicago was either a member of the Noble Knights or Young Lords.  The Young Lords did indeed arrive in Chicago and had a stronghold in Lincoln Park.  Either case the new Latin King Nation that was to arrive later would have connections to both Noble Knights and Young Lords.  There was another gang that formed in the early 60s known as the Noble Knights as well in Chicago on the corner of Noble and Huron; however, this was a white gang and more than likely had no ties to the Noble Knights of New York.  The Noble Knights of New York were a Puerto Rican political group while the Noble Knights in Chicago were a white greaser gang.  Some time more than likely in the late 1950s, Latin Kingism was started here in Chicago more than likely by Papa King.  Instead of using the old names from NYC, Papa King created “Kingism” which would become a new doctrine for his young soldiers to abide by.  I do not know the date of birth of Papa King but I do know that he was in his 40s when he was killed in 1988 which would make him born in the 1940s.  If he was born in the late 40s (1947-1949) then he could not have possibly formed LK in the late 50s on the account of him being only 8-12 years old.  (If anyone knows Papa King’s true date of birth hit us up at so that maybe I can figure a founding year for LK in Chicago). 


The Latin Kings were formed by Papa King also known as Papa Santos and his main counterparts: Jose Rivera AKA: Cadillac Joe, Eddie Rodriguez AKA: Tiger, Joe Gunn, and Fast Eddie. These men had the title of “King of Kings.” This is the most OG title you can have in the LKN.  The first faction of LKs was formed on the Southside on the corner of 18th and Wabash by Papa King according to oral stories. It is true that Papa King did have residence on the Southside in those days on that corner. Before that Papa King lived and originated in the city of New York and he was in a gang called the Young Lords until he came to Chicago. After he left the Southside, he took up residence on Leavitt and Schiller which began the main LK story/faction in Humboldt Park. According to some older members of the LKN in interviews, the LKs grew out of the Noble Knights. One of the very first trends of the LKN was to grow your hair into a very large afro; a Latin Kings had to do this back in the 60s. The last known LK that had one of these large afros was LK named “Crow” Rivera who died in prison from a drug smuggling attempt that went terribly wrong. The drugs were smuggled in a balloon that he put in his mouth, the balloon busted and he died. Rivera was the rank of “Inca” from Armitage and Kedzie. He died in Menard. The Latin Kings became a bigger success by the mid-60s; by 1964-1965 they had expanded further on the north side. By 1966 they were well recognized. One may ask how was it known about the LKs Well during the 1960s, Chicago was in the infancy of understanding street gangs. One method was to offer charity to street gangs. Government funded non-profit organizations were set up to send out counselors to find Gangs and talk to their leaders in order to get the gang members some help.


The Latin Kings were first discovered in 1961 but were worked with to a more wide scale amount by 1966 because they were growing larger and becoming more organized than ever. There are absolutely no records or evidence of any kind of the LKs existence before 1961. But that does not mean they absolutely did not exist, but it is more than likely they didn’t. The Latin Kings and other gangs were willing to work with social workers because they received government benefits from meeting with the social workers. The way it worked was if a gang was seen as a threat and acted real bad, they would get more benefits and other nice things (a real flaw in the system at that time); therefore, the Latin Kings took full advantage by acting real bad and then gaining more sympathy from the government. The more you acted the more special things you received is the best way to summarize it. Of course nowadays this system no longer is existent government no longer gives money or other goodies to gangs anymore. They even used to receive fun activities paid for by the government like boating, trips to other states, horseback ridding etc… Soon the Latin Kings spread influence to the South Side streets. Some gang researchers believe that the South side LKs came from the Royal Kings that was a gang that fought with Ambrose in the early to mid-60s. Then the LKs soon found beef with Ambrose. By the 1970s the LKN had grown considerably and was engaging in many major crimes and organized criminal activity. It was because of this the leader of the South side LKs known as “Baby King” or Raul Gonzalez and “Lord Gino” Gustavo Gino Colon leader of North side LKs, were incarcerated in 1972 for RICO charges.


In 1977 or 1978 the Latin Kings were suspected of robbing an armory (whether this true or not is unknown) The FBI arrested a top ranked gang member who was an LK for 20 years he was forced to inform on the LKs so he flipped and told the story while he was in another gang he said that in 1977 or 1978 the LKs robbed an armory and stole lots of high powered military weapons on North AVE and Kedzie. Whether this true or not is unknown but it was rumored that this was how the LKs ended up becoming heavily armed, they then traded some guns to the Insane Unknowns and the Spanish Lords because they were and still are close allies of LKs. In 1978 the Latin Kings not only joined but also helped form the people alliance along with the Vice Lords and the Elrukns. Throughout the 1980s the LKs convinced many white and Latino street gangs to join the people alliance. The LKs were heavily credited for convincing the Gaylords and the Insane Deuces into the people nation at the same time. In 1988 Papa King was killed leaving Lord Gino as the leader of the LKN in prison and Baby king as leader on the streets after his release. There have been many suspicions that Lord Gino ordered Papa King’s death because the two could not agree upon how the gang should be run. In 1991 the LKs began to engage in a wide scale of interalliance wars with other people nation gangs. One very well known interalliance war is the one between them and the Latin Counts. Even though the LKs don’t have many allies, they are still the third largest gang in Chicago and the largest Latino in Chicago and possibly the world.


North Side
. Motherland / Humboldt Park , Spaulding Latin Kings
. Beach & Spaulding
. Division & Spaulding
. Hirsch & Spaulding
. LeMoyne & Spaulding

. Up-Town
. Berwyn & Winthrop
. Winona & Winthrop

. Armitage Ave. & Kedzie / Whipple
. Belmont Ave. & Central Park
. Berwyn & Hoyne "Area 51"
. Berwyn & Wolcott "Death Valley"
. Clark St. & Balmoral
. Clark St. & Bryn Mawr
. Clark St. & Caltalpa "Crack & Crime"
. Clark St. & Winnemac - "C20"
. Columbia & Ashland Ave.
. Damen Ave. & Crystal
. Drake & School
. Hirsch & Central Park
. Huron & Hoyne "Heaven & Hell"
. Kedzie & Cortez
. Lawrence Ave. & Ashland Ave.
. Lawrence Ave. & Kedzie "LK St."
. Leland & Rockwell
. Leland & Virginia
. Montrose Ave. & Hazel
. Montrose Ave. , Damen Ave. to Ashland Ave. "Mackville"
. North Ave. / Cortland & Sawyer
. Paulina & Cullom
. Roscoe & Hoyne
. Rosemont & Claremont
. Rosemont & Richmond
. Schiller & Leavitt
. School & Lavergne "School Krazy"
. Whipple & Wabansia "Wild West"
. Lathrop Homes (Project LK's) (shared w/ BPS's & CVL's)
Pulaski & Argyle "PAst"

South Side

. Chi-Town ,
. 21st & Albany
. 21st & California Ave. "Cal Two One"
. 23rd & Spaulding
. 23rd & Whipple
. 24th & Christiana
. 24th & Drake "Chi-Town Two Four"
. 24th & Marshall Blvd. (Boulevard LK's)
. 24th & Sawyer
. 24th & St.Louis "Coulter Side" (Coulter LK's)
. 24th & Trumbull "Two Four Trumbull"
. 25th & California Ave.
. 25th & Millard
. 25th & Spaulding "Spanish Harlem"
. 27th & Drake
. 27th & Homan
. 28th & Lawndale (Lawndale LK's)
. 30th & Sawyer "Redrum City"
. 30th & Trumbull
. 31st & Drake "Drake Side"

. 33rd & Morgan (Morgan LK's) {Bridgeport Homes}

. 49th & Lotus (Midway LK's)

. 51st & Ada
. 52nd & Marshfield (shared w/ BPS's)

  Crown Town ,
. 51st & Campbell
. 51st & Homan (51 HLK's)
. 52nd & Talman
. 53rd & Albany
. 53rd & Mozart
. 56th & Sacramento
. 58th & Hamlin "Five Eight Homicide"

 82nd & Houston
. Bush LK's ,
. 83rd & Buffalo
. 84th & Burley

. 88th & Exchange "88 D-Hate"
. 89th & Muskegon
. 89th & Escanaba

. 96th & Ave. M "96 No-Limit"
. 97th & Ewing
. 99th & Ewing "99 Ruthless"

104th & Ave. L "Murda Ave"
. 113th & Langley (Pullman LK's)
. Madison & Kensington (Roseland LK's)

. Addison,IL
. Aurora,IL "A-Town"
. Berwyn,IL : 19th / 21st & Lombard
. Blue Island,IL
. Bradley,IL
. Calumet City,IL
. Carpentersville,IL
. Chicago Heights,IL
. Cicero,IL
. Des Plaines,IL : Dempster & Dee Rd.
. Dolton,IL : 147th & Michigan
. East Moline,IL
. Elgin,IL
. Evanston,IL
. Glendale Heights,IL
. Glenview,IL
. Hanover Park,IL
. Hodgkins,IL : Lenzi Ave. (Lenzi LK's)
. Joliet,IL "J-Town"
. Kankakee,IL
. Lockport,IL
. Maywood,IL : 5th Ave. & Lake
. Mt.Prospect,IL
. Palatine,IL
. Plainfield,IL "Paradise"
. Rockford,IL
. Rolling Meadows,IL
. Romeoville,IL
. Stone Park,IL : 37th & Soffel
. Argo,IL : 61st & Harlem Ave./ 62nd & Harlem (Harlem LK's)
. Waukegan,IL

. Ft.Lauderdale & Miami,Fl
. Norcross,Ga
. East Chicago,In
. Hammond,In
. Davenport & Des Moines,Ia
. Kansas City,Mo
. Las Vegas,Nv
. Jersey City & Union City,Nj
. Bronx,Brooklyn,New York City & Queens,Ny
. Philadelphia,Pa "Philly"
. Austin,El Paso,Houston & San Antonio,Tx
. Waukesha,Madison & Milwaukee "Mil-Town",Wi
. Other sets throughout the country
. Mexico , Puerto Rico

Former Known Sets

. Argyle & Washtenaw
. Armitage / Point & California Ave.
. Armitage & Sheffield
. Augusta Blvd. & Kedzie / Sacramento
. Beach & Homan
. Belmont Ave. & Sacramento
. Cortland & Damen Ave. / Hoyne "Bucktown"
. Diversey Ave. & Major
. Divsion & Wolcott "D-Dub"
. North Ave. & Bosworth
. North Ave. & Central Park
. North Ave. & Leavitt
. Pierce & St.Louis
. Peterson & California Ave.
. Peterson & Fairfield
. Roscoe & Halsted
. Wellington & Kilpatrick

. 24th & Millard
. 25th & Coulter (Coulter LK's)
. 27th & Millard
. 35th & Halsted
. 51st & Lotus "Mark Twain Schoolyard" (Midway LK's)
. 71st & Avers
. 71st & Spaulding
. 89th & Commercial
. 98th & Ave. L "98 Outlaws"

. Aurora,IL "A-Town": 4th & Flagg
. Bedford Park,IL : 75th & Nottingham (Nottingham Boyz)
. Bridgeview,IL
. Bensenville,IL
. Berwyn,IL: 14th & Ridgeland ,19th & Grove
. Cicero,IL : 14th & 51st "The Ghetto" ,13th & Central ,Cermak Rd. & 57th Ave.
. Rochelle,IL
. Rockford,IL :Ashland & Rockford
. West Chicago,IL
. Milwaukee,Wi "Mil-Town": 12th & Rogers