George Kelly Barnes (July 18, 1895 – July 18, 1954), better known as “Machine Gun Kelly”, was an American gangsterfrom Memphis, Tennessee, during the prohibition era. He attended Central High School in Memphis. His nickname came from his favorite weapon, a Thompson submachine gun.
His most infamous crime was the kidnapping of oil tycoon and businessman Charles F. Urschel in July 1933 for which he, and his gang, collected a $200,000 ransom. Their victim had collected and left considerable evidence that assisted the subsequent FBI investigation that eventually led to Kelly’s arrest in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 26, 1933. His crimes also included bootlegging and armed robbery.