Ma Barker Biography
(Matriarch of the Barker Family)
Birthday: October 8, 1873 (Libra)
Born In: Ash Grove, Missouri, United States
Kate Barker (née Clark), better known as Ma Barker and sometimes referred to as Arizona Donnie Barker, was the matriarch of the Barker family, several members of which were career criminals that ran the Barker-Karpis gang during the "public enemy era". The level of her involvement in the criminal activities of her children is a matter of debate. After her death in a shootout with the FBI, then-FBI director J. Edgar Hoover called her "the most vicious, dangerous, and resourceful criminal brain of the last decade”. However, people who were acquainted with her claim that she was innocent and that Hoover made the accusations to justify the FBI killing her. A native of Missouri, she exchanged wedding vows with George Barker in 1892, and they went on to have four children, Herman, Lloyd, Arthur, and Fred. All of her four sons became criminals, but Arthur and Fred garnered the most notoriety. She travelled with the Barker-Karpis gang all across the United States, and a myth soon developed, according to which she was the criminal mastermind behind the gang. After her death, Barker has been portrayed as a monstrous mother in films, songs, and literature.