Berger Odman

Born: 1898
Occupation: Electrician’s Helper
Cause of death: Bullet Wound

Berger Odman, a white man, was born in 1898 in Chicago. His father, Gust, and his mother, Augusta, were both Swedish immigrants. Odman had four siblings: one sister, Ethel, and three brothers, Carl, Gunnar, and Harold. Odman registered for the draft and would have been of age to fight. However, verification of his military service/status could not be confirmed. At the time of the riots, Odman lived at 5737 S. Morgan Avenue and worked as an electrician’s helper. During the riots, Odman was part of a mob of white people attacking Black people and terrorizing Black neighborhoods. Odman’s particular mob was attacking Black people near Ogden Park, where Odman was shot. The Chicago Commission Report states that this mob, “began to move into it [Ogden Park] from Fifty Ninth and Sixtieth Streets and Racine Avenue.” The mob first fired at and then returned shots with a Black man named Samuel Johnson, who shot Odman with his rifle. The coroner’s jury exonerated the Black people suspected in the shooting, stating, “we believe and find that the action of Samuel Johnson was fully justified and recommend his discharge from police custody. Odman died at 60th Street and Ada Avenue at the age of twenty-one.

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