Ness of course is famous for his role with the U.S. Treasury Department during Prohibition. He joined the department in 1927, rising rapidly. In 1929, Herbert Hoover declared jailing Al Capone a top priority of his administration. Ness headed the team designed to do this, busting his distilleries and publicizing his successes, making himself a nationally famous individual. This infuriated Capone, who attempted to have Ness assassinated several times. This all eventually led to Capone getting busted for tax evasion and imprisoned. After the end of Prohibition, he was hired as Safety Director for Cleveland, where he targeted the mob. However, his (somewhat ironic) heavy drinking and failed marriage undermined his effectiveness. He remarried and worked for the government during World War II attacking prostitution near military bases.
Eliot Ness is buried in Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.