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"Baby Face" Nelson was born Lester M. Gillis on December 6, 1908, in Chicago, Illinois. He roamed the Chicago streets with a gang of juvenile hoodlums during his early teens. By the age of 14, he was an accomplished car thief and had been dubbed "Baby Face" by members of his gang due to his juvenile appearance. Nelson's early criminal career included stealing tires, running stills, bootlegging, and armed robbery.