A Repulsive Old Jewish Gangster Gloats: A History of the Jews and the Mob

Myron Sugerman, the “Last Jewish Gangster,” describes to an assembly of Jews at a Chabad, which is very revealing, the Jewish mafia’s role in fighting anti-Semitism in the 1930’s and the crucial role the Jewish mob played in arming the infant Jewish State. He of course forgets to mention how the jewish mobsters flooded the US with heroin (amongst other vices) and infiltrated the highest positions of power within the US.

Click on this link to watch Myron Sugarman describe Jewish Criminality in America during the early 20th Century...

 

 

 

Jewish-American organized crime emerged within the American Jewish community during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It has been referred to variously in media and popular culture as the Jewish Mob, Jewish Mafia, Kosher Mafia, Kosher Nostra,[1][2] or Undzer Shtik (Yiddish: אונדזער שטיק‎).[a][2] The last two of these terms are direct references to the Italian Cosa Nostra; the former is a play on the word kosher, referring to Jewish dietary laws; while the latter is a direct translation of the Italian phrase Cosa Nostra (Italian for "our thing") into Yiddish, which was at the time the predominant language of the Jewish diaspora in the United States.

 

In the late 19th century in New York City, Monk Eastman operated a powerful Jewish gang that competed with Italian and Irish gangs, notably Paul Kelly's Five Points Gang, for control of New York City's underworld. Another notorious gang, known as the Lenox Avenue Gang, led by Harry "Gyp the Blood" Horowitz, consisted of mostly Jewish members and some Italian members (such as Francesco Cirofisi). It was one of the most violent gangs of the early 20th century and became famous for the murder of gambler and gangster Herman Rosenthal.

 

In the early 1920s, stimulated by the economic opportunities of the roaring twenties, and later prohibition, Jewish organized crime figures such as Arnold Rothstein were controlling a wide range of criminal enterprises, including bootlegging, loansharking, gambling, and bookmaking. According to crime writer Leo Katcher, Rothstein "transformed organized crime from a thuggish activity by hoodlums into a big business, run like a corporation, with himself at the top."[3][page needed] Rothstein was allegedly responsible for fixing the 1919 World Series.[4][page needed] At the same time, the Jewish bootlegging mob known as The Purple Gang dominated the Detroit underworld during prohibition, while the Jewish Bugs and Meyer Mob operated in the Lower East Side of New York City before being absorbed into Murder, Inc. and becoming affiliates of the Italian-American Mafia.

 

The largely Jewish-American and Italian-American gang known as Murder, Inc. and Jewish mobsters such as Meyer Lansky, Mickey Cohen, Harold "Hooky" Rothman, Dutch Schultz, and Bugsy Siegel developed close ties with and gained significant influence within the Italian-American Mafia, eventually forming a loosely organized, mostly Jewish and Italian criminal syndicate known in the press as the "National Crime Syndicate." Jewish and Italian crime groups became increasingly interconnected in the 1920s and 1930s, as they often occupied the same neighborhoods and social statuses of the time. The two ethnic crime groups became especially close in New York City following the establishment of the close relationship between partners Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky and their subsequent elimination of many of the so-called "Mustache Pete", or the Sicilian-born gangsters that often refused to work with non-Italians and even non-Sicilians. The Cohen crime family of Los Angeles and Las Vegas was notably part of both the Jewish Mafia and Italian-American Mafia, and lines between the two ethnic criminal organizations often blurred throughout the 20th century. For decades after, Jewish-American mobsters would continue to work closely and at times compete with Italian-American organized crime.[5]

 

Origins and characteristics

The Siegel family's memorial plaque in the Bialystoker Synagogue.[6]
 

Jewish-American gangsters were involved in many different criminal activities, including murder, racketeering, bootlegging, prostitution[7][page needed] and narcotics. Their role was also significant in New York's burgeoning labor movement, especially the garment and trucking unions, as well as the poultry industry. Jewish organized crime fueled antisemitism and deeply concerned the Jewish community.[8] Jewish organized crime was used by antisemites and anti-immigration supporters as arguments to bolster their agenda. Jewish gangs controlled portions of the Lower East Side and Brownsville in New York City,[9] and were also present in other major American cities. American Jewish mafia boss Kid Cann held sway over Minneapolis for over four decades and remains the most notorious mobster in the history of Minnesota.

 

Jewish-American organized crime was a reflection of the ethnic succession among gangsters, which has tended to follow the immigrant waves in the United States: English, German, Irish, Jewish, Italian, Asian and Latino. Ethnic involvement in organized crime gave rise to alien conspiracy theories in the US law enforcement community, in which the conception of organized crime as an alien and united entity was vital. The involvement of a small percentage of recent immigrants in organized crime created a lasting stereotype of devious immigrants corrupting the morality of native-born Americans. Organized crime was a complex set of relations between the recently arrived Jewish and Italian criminals and groups like the Irish-American organized crime networks, which had been established before the 1920s and which the newer groups were sometimes subordinate to.[10]

 

Although never receiving close to the level of cultural attention of the Italian-American Mafia, from the late 1960s, Jewish-American gangsters would figure as characters in Jewish American literature. For some writers, Jewish gangsters and boxers in the post-World War II era were seen as tougher, more aggressive literary role models, freeing the community from the stigma of defenselessness and powerlessness, compared with the physical aggressiveness and lawlessness more associated with the Irish and Italian immigrants.[11][12][13] According to Rich Cohen, author of Tough Jews: Fathers, Sons and Gangster Dreams: "If Jewish gangsters still thrived today, if they hadn't gone legit, if Jews of my generation didn't regard them as figments, creatures to be classed with Big Foot and the Loch Ness monster, I think the Jewish community would be better off".[12] However, Cohen's description of Jewish gangsters ignores their criminality and immorality. These tough characters were still gangsters who extorted, exploited and murdered other members of the Jewish-American community for profit. They forced Jewish women into prostitution,[7][page needed] and were generally considered a scourge within their own community.[14] The Yiddish press and literature of the 1920s and 1930s was resolute in its condemnation of Jewish mobsters.[citation needed]

 

History

19th century to early 20th century

 

A large wave of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in the late-19th and early 20th centuries produced Jewish mobsters such as Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach, "Big" Jack Zelig, and Vach "Cyclone Louie" Lewis who competed with and were acknowledged by Italian and Irish gangs.

 

Just as their Italian counterparts, gangs specializing in extortion began operating in the heavily Jewish neighborhoods of New York's Lower East Side most prominently the so-called Yiddish Black Hand headed by Jacob Levinsky, Charles "Charlie the Cripple" Litoffsky and Joseph Toplinsky during the early 20th century. A significant Jewish underworld already existed in New York at the start of the 20th century, with Jewish mobsters conversing in a jargon with Yiddish origins. A pimp was known as a "simcha," a detective as a "shamus" and a loafer as a "trombenik."[15] Jewish-American organized crime arose among slum kids who in pre-puberty stole from pushcarts, who as adolescents extorted money from store owners, who as young adults practiced schlamming (wielding an iron pipe wrapped in newspaper against striking workers or against scabs) – until as adults they joined well-organized gangs involved in a wide variety of criminal enterprises boosted by prohibition.[16]

 

The lure of quick money, power and the romance of the criminal lifestyle was attractive to both second-generation Jewish and Italian immigrants. There was a supposed Jewish "crime wave" in early-20th-century New York. In disturbing numbers young Jews had joined crime "rackets," it was said, along with children of Irish, Italian and other immigrants.[17] However, the supposed Jewish-immigrant crime may have been exaggerated by the press and law enforcement.[citation needed] Crime and population figures show that Jews in New York committed crimes at a rate far below the average for the wider society. As described by sociologist Stephen Steinberg, less than a sixth of the city's felony arrests were Jews during the 1920s, when Jews constituted nearly a third of the city's population.[18]

 

As the 20th century progressed, Jewish-American mobsters such as "Dopey" Benny Fein and Joe "The Greaser" Rosenzweig entered labor racketeering, hiring out to both businesses and labor unions as strong arm men. Labor racketeering or "labor slugging" as it was known, would become a source of conflict as it came under the domination of several racketeers including former Five Points Gang members Nathan "Kid Dropper" Kaplan and Johnny Spanish during the Labor slugger wars until its eventual takeover by Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro in 1927. Other Jewish organized crime figures involved in controlling labor unions include Moses Annenberg and Arnold Rothstein, the latter reportedly responsible for fixing the 1919 World Series.[4]

 

Prohibition

 

According to crime writer Leo Katcher, Rothstein "transformed organized crime from a thuggish activity by hoodlums into a big business, run like a corporation, with himself at the top."[3] According to Rich Cohen, Rothstein was the person to see during prohibition (1920–1933) if one had an idea for a tremendous business opportunity, legal or not. Rothstein "understood the truths of early 20th century capitalism (hypocrisy, exclusion, greed) and came to dominate them". According to Cohen, Rothstein was the 'Moses of Jewish gangsters', a rich man's son, who showed the young and uneducated hoodlums of the Bowery how to have style. Lucky Luciano, who would become a prominent boss within the Italian-American Mafia and organize New York's Five Families, once claimed that Arnold Rothstein "taught me how to dress". The stereotypical attire of the American mobster portrayed in movies can partially trace its roots directly to Rothstein.[19][20]

 

During prohibition, Jewish gangsters became major operatives in the American underworld and played prominent roles in the distribution of illegal alcohol and the spread of organized crime throughout the United States. At the time, Jewish gangs operated primarily in America's largest cities, including Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, Newark, New York City, and Philadelphia. Numerous bootlegging gangs such as the Bug and Meyer Mob headed by Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel and Abe Bernstein's Purple Gang[21] would see the rise of Jewish-American organized crime to its height. Other Jewish mobsters, including Dutch Schultz of New York,[22] Moe Dalitz of Michigan, Kid Cann of Minneapolis, Charles "King" Solomon of Boston and Abner "Longy" Zwillman (the "Al Capone of New Jersey") became wealthy during prohibition.

 

During this time, Luciano successfully eliminated the Old World Sicilian Mafia bosses like Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano in the 1931 Castellammarese War and took control of the New York Italian Mafia. Luciano did not discriminate against Jews and valued longtime associates such as Meyer Lansky and Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel. Several Jewish gangsters such as Red Levine and Bo Weinberg were used in the war as unsuspected non-Italian hitmen.[16] After Masseria and Maranzano were murdered, a conference was held at New York's Franconia Hotel on November 11, 1931 which included Jewish mobsters such as Jacob Shapiro, Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, Joseph "Doc" Stacher, Hyman "Curly" Holtz, Louis "Shadows" Kravitz, Harry Tietlebaum, Philip "Little Farvel" Kovolick and Harry "Big Greenie" Greenberg. During this meeting, Luciano and Lansky convinced the Jewish-American mobsters of the benefits of cooperating with the Italian-American Mafia in a newly created consortium called the National Crime Syndicate by the press. At the meeting's conclusion, "Bugsy" Siegel supposedly declared "The yids and the dagos will no longer fight each other."[23]

 

Those Jewish gangsters hostile to the idea of cooperation with non-Jewish rivals gradually receded, most notably Philadelphia bootlegger Waxey Gordon, who was convicted and imprisoned for tax evasion. Following Gordon's imprisonment, his operations were assumed by Nig Rosen and Max "Boo Hoo" Hoff.

Meyer Lansky in 1958
 

Under Lansky, Jewish mobsters became involved in syndicate gambling interests in Cuba, Miami, and Las Vegas.[24][page needed] Buchalter would also lead the predominantly Jewish Murder, Inc. as the Luciano-Meyer syndicate's exclusive hitmen.[25]

 

After World War II

 

For several decades after World War II, the dominant figures in organized crime were second-generation Jews and Italians, often working in concert. As late as the 1960s, Jewish presence in organized crime was still acknowledged as Los Angeles mobster Jack Dragna explained to hitman and later government informant Jimmy Fratianno:

 

Meyer's got a Jewish family built along the same lines as our thing. But his family's all over the country. He's got guys like Lou Rhody and Dalitz, Doc Stacher, Gus Greenbaum, sharp fucking guys, good businessmen, and they know better than try to fuck us.[23][26][27]

 

Jewish mobsters, such as Meyer Lansky and the Los Angeles-based Mickey Cohen, along with Harold "Hooky" Rothman, continued to hold significant power and control organized crime groups in New York City, New Jersey, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Las Vegas, while the Jewish-American presence remained strong in Italian-American criminal rackets.

 

Jewish-American organized crime derived from dislocation and poverty, where language and custom made the community vulnerable to undesirables, the sort of thing that fosters criminality among any other ethnicity in a similar situation.[17] As American Jews improved their conditions, the Jewish thug and racketeer either disappeared or merged into a more assimilated American crime environment. American Jews quietly buried the public memory of the gangster past; unlike the Mafia, famous Jewish American gangsters like Meyer Lansky, Dutch Schultz and Bugsy Siegel founded no crime families.[19]

 

Much like Irish-Americans and other ethnicities (with the exception of Italian-American criminal organizations), Jewish-American presence in organized crime began to decline after World War II. Jewish-American individuals remain closely associated with organized crime, especially Italian-American and Israeli organized crime,[28] but the Jewish-American criminal organizations and gangs which once rivaled the Italian and Irish-American mobsters during the first half of the 20th century have largely faded.

 

 

Late 20th century to present

 

In more recent years, Jewish-American organized crime has reappeared in the forms of both Israeli and Jewish-Russian mafia criminal groups, and Orthodox kidnapping gangs.

From the 1990s till their 2013 arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a sting operation, an Orthodox ring led by Mendel "The Prodfather" Epstein imposed a reign of terror on Jewish men in troubled marriages by kidnapping and torturing them into granting religious divorces to their wives, who paid Epstein up to $100,000 for his services.[29] In 2016, another sting collared Shimen Liebowitz and Aharon Goldberg, two Satmar Hasidim who colluded with a third man to perform a contract killing on an estranged husband.[30]

 

Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson was sued by former Sands China CEO Steven Jacobs for wrongful termination. Jacobs, who was fired in 2010, alleged that instead of Adelson losing confidence in his ability to run the Macau-based casinos, the true reason was his attempts to distance the company from ties to the Triads, the Chinese mafia, involving activities such as in-casino loan sharking, prostitution, drug dealing, using the Triads to blackmail and/or bribe various corrupt Chinese lawmakers (in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) and utilizing accounts used by large-money gamblers (known as whales) transferring money from one casino to another as money laundering transactions.[31] The suit, which was filed in late 2010, was set to go to trial in September 2016, though nine months earlier, Adelson purchased the Las Vegas Review Journal in a controversial and ill-fated attempt to turn public opinion against the presiding judge.[32] On May 31, 2016, the two sides reached a confidential settlement.[33]

 

Jewish-American organized crime and Israel

 

Several notable Jewish American mobsters provided financial support for Israel through donations to Jewish organizations since the country's creation in 1948. Jewish-American gangsters used Israel's Law of Return to flee criminal charges or face deportation. Notables include Joseph "Doc" Stacher, who built up Las Vegas by pairing the Jewish and Italian Mafia into a national organized crime syndicate. Prime Minister Golda Meir set out to reverse this trend in 1970 when she denied entrance to Meyer Lansky.[34] He was the mob's accountant, thought to be among the most powerful people in the country, with a gambling empire stretching throughout the United States.

 

In 2010, it was reported by Wikileaks that the United States Embassy in Israel, in a cable titled "Israel: The Promised Land of Organized Crime?", had expressed grave concern about the activities of Israeli organized crime figures and was taking measures to prevent members of crime families from being issued visas to the United States. American diplomats expressed concern that Inbal Gavrieli, the niece of one of Israel's most powerful mafia bosses, had been elected to the Knesset as a MK for Likud.[35]

 

Russian and Israeli mafia in the United States

 

The Soviet and Russian émigré community in New York's Brighton Beach contains a large Jewish presence. Some of these newer American-based Jewish gangsters, such as Ludwig Fainberg (who has lived in Ukraine, Israel and the United States, but never in Russia), share more in common culturally with Russia and the Soviet republics than their predecessors, such as Meyer Lansky.[36]

 

Russian Jewish mafia figures, such as Semion Mogilevich, have attempted to penetrate the United States, including participating in a US$10 billion money laundering scheme through the Bank of New York in 1998.

 

Israeli mobsters also have had a presence in the United States. The Israeli mafia (such as the Abergil crime family) is heavily involved in ecstasy trafficking in America.[37]

 

Notable members and associates

In popular culture


____________________________________________________________________________________________

                                                     List of Jewish American mobsters

 

This is a list of Jewish-American mobsters and organized crime figures, ranging from the late 19th century to the present day.

Name Portrait Life Years active Notes References
"Kid Dropper" Nathan Kaplan No image
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1895–1923 1910s–1920s A former member of the Five Points Gang, he and Johnny Spanish fought over control of labor racketeering during the Labor Slugger Wars. [1][6][10]
Abe "Kid Twist" Reles Abe-reles.jpg 1906–1941 1921–1940 One of the most feared hitmen of Murder, Inc. during the 1930s, he later became a government witness and was responsible for sending many of his former partners to the electric chair. Died under suspicious circumstances while in protective custody in 1941. [1][2][4][5][6][9][10][13]
Abe Bernstein No image
available
1892–1968 1910s–1960s Detroit mobster and leader of The Purple Gang. After the end of Prohibition, he ran syndicate gambling operations in Miami up until his death in 1968. [2][7]
Abe Landau No image
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1898–1935 1920s–1930s Lieutenant of New York mobster Dutch Schultz. [1][2][5][9][10]
Abner "Longy" Zwillman   1891–1959 1910s–1950s Prohibition gangster. Popularly known as the "Al Capone of New Jersey", he was a founding member of the "Big Seven" Ruling Commission. He was also associated with Murder, Inc. [1][2][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][14]
Abraham Chapman   1904/06-1991 1930s–1991 Member of Murder, Inc.; imprisoned in Alcatraz 1951–1960; 1991 pleaded guilty to charge of conspiracy.
Abraham Friedman No image
available
1897–1939 1920s–1930s New York mobster and enforcer for labor racketeer Nathan Kaplan, and later Louis Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro during the 1920s and 1930s. [5]
Abraham Telvi   1934–1956 1950s Hitman for New York labor racketeer Johnny Dio. Responsible for blinding crusading New York journalist Victor Riesel with acid in 1956.
Abraham Weinberg   1897–1935? 1920s–1930s Hitman and chief lieutenant for New York mobster Dutch Schultz during Prohibition. Disappeared in 1935 and long presumed to have been killed by the mob. [5]
Albert "Tick–tock" Tannenbaum No image
available
1906–1976 1920s–1950s Enforcer and hitman for Lepke Buchalter during the 1920s and 1930s. A member of Murder, Inc., he was responsible for the 1939 murder of Harry Greenberg. [1][4][5][10]
Alex "Shondor" Birns No image
available
1907–1975
A major gangland figure in Cleveland throughout the 20th century. At one time considered Public Enemy No. 1, he controlled the city's underworld until his murder by Danny Greene in 1975. [2]
Alex Louis Greenberg
Alex Louis Greenberg - Appearing before Senate Crime Committee
d. 1955 1930s-1950s Wealthy brewer, hotel owner, and financial adviser for the Capone crime syndicate. [23]
Andrei Katz No image
available
1952–1975 1960s–1970s Romanian-born mobster associated with the Gambino crime family. Killed by the DeMeo crew in 1975 after agreeing to become a government informant.  
Arnold "The Brain" Rothstein   1882–1928 1900s–1920s One of the first major underworld figures in New York during the early 20th century. Widely reputed to have been behind the Black Sox scandal of 1919. [1][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][13]
Arthur "Dutch Schultz" Flegenheimer   1902–1935 1910s–1930s Headed bootlegging and policy rackets in New York during the 1920s and 1930s. [1][2][4][5][6][7][9][10][12][13]
Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel Mugshot Benjamin Siegel.jpg 1906–1947 1910s–1940s New York mobster associated with Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello and Charles "Lucky" Luciano during Prohibition. Credited with the creation of syndicate casinos in Las Vegas during the 1940s. [1][2][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][13][14]
Benjamin "Dopey Benny" Fein Fein.jpg 1889–1977? 1900–1941 New York mobster who dominated labor racketeering with Joseph Rosenzweig in the Lower East Side during the 1910s. [1][5][8][10]
Benjamin Tannenbaum No image
available
1906–1941 1920s–1930s Mob accountant for New York labor racketeers Louis Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro during the 1920s and 1930s. Murdered by members of Murder, Inc. in 1941 while babysitting for a friend. [5]
Bernard Rosencrantz No image
available
1902–1935 1920s–1930s Bodyguard and chauffeur of New York mobster Dutch Schultz. [2][5]
Boris Nayfeld No image
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1970s–1990s Russian-born mobster and heroin smuggler in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn during the 1970s and 1980s. He and Monya Elson later waged a gang war over Brighton Beach.
Charles "King" Solomon No image
available
1884–1933 1900s–1930s He and Irish gangster Dan Carroll controlled bootlegging, narcotics and illegal gambling in Boston during Prohibition. Killed at the Cotton Club by rival mobsters in 1933. [1][6][7][9][22]
Charles Birger No image
available
1881–1928 1919–1928 Illinois bootlegger who feuded with the Shelton Brothers Gang throughout Prohibition.
Chris Rosenberg   1950–1979 1970s A member of the Gambino crime family's DeMeo crew during the 1970s. He was later killed by DeMeo to cover up the murder of Colombian drug cartel members.
David Berman No image
available
1903–1957 1916–1957 Associate member of the Genovese crime family who ran syndicate operations in Iowa and Minnesota from the 1920s to the 1940s. Involved in syndicate casinos in Las Vegas during the 1940s and 1950s, he and Moe Sedway took over The Flamingo after Bugsy Siegel's murder in 1947. [2]
Emanuel Weiss Louis Capone and Emanuel Weiss.jpg 1906–1944 1920s–1930s An enforcer for New York labor racketeer Louis "Lepke" Buchalter during the 1920s. He was also a member of Murder, Inc. up until his arrest in 1940. [4][5]
Evsei Agron No image
available
d. 1985 1970s–1980s Russian-born mobster who established and ran the Russian Mafia in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn until his murder in 1985.
Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal   1929–2008 1960s–1980s One of the top sports handicappers in the United States during his lifetime. Secretly ran several syndicate casinos for the Chicago Outfit, most notably the Stardust, throughout the 1960s and 1970s. [2][11]
George Weinberg No image
available
1901–1939 1920s–1930s Younger brother of Schultz' gunman Abraham Weinberg. After his brother's disappearance in 1935, he agreed to become a government witness but committed suicide while in police custody in 1939. [5]
Gus Greenbaum No image
available
1894–1958 1910s–1950s Member of the Chicago Outfit and ran syndicate casinos in Las Vegas during the 1940s and 1950s. [1][2][6]
Harry "Doc Jasper" Sagansky No image
available
1898–1997 1920s–1990s Ran one of the largest bookmaking operations in Boston during the 1950s. At the time of his imprisonment in 1988, at age 91, he was the oldest organized crime figure to serve a federal prison sentence.
Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss No image
available
1909–1941 1927–1941 Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. credited with the murder of Irving Feinstein and at least five other gangland slayings. Sent to the electric chair at Sing Sing in 1941. [1][4][5][6][10]
Harry Greenberg No image
available
d. 1939 1920s–1930s An associate and childhood friend of Bugsy Siegel, he later worked for Charlie "Lucky" Luciano and Meyer Lansky.
Harry Horowitz aka Gyp the Blood Gyp 2422667831 20669b23e4 o.jpg 1889–1914 1900s–1910s Leader of the Lenox Avenue Gang. [1][5]
Harry Keywell No image
available
1910–1997 1920s–1930s Detroit mobster and member of The Purple Gang. A suspect in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and later convicted of Collingwood Manor Massacre in 1931. [2][12]
Harry Maione No image
available
1908–1942 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. Participated in the murders of the Shapiro Brothers and George Rudnick. [5]
Harry Rosen No image
available

1920s–1950s Major bootlegger in Philadelphia during Prohibition. He was a member of the Big Seven and later involved in drug trafficking with Meyer Lansky during the 1930s. [2][7]
Harry Tietlebaum No image
available
1889–? 1920s–1930s An associate of the Bug and Meyer Mob during Prohibition. Later part of a major heroin smuggling operation with Meyer Lansky and Harry "Nig" Rosen during the early 1930s.
Herbert Blitzstein No image
available
1934–1997
Loanshark and bookmaker for the Chicago Outfit during the 1950s and 1960s. He was the top lieutenant of Anthony Spilotro when he and his crew were sent to Las Vegas. [11]
Hyman "Pittsburgh Hymie" Martin No image
available
1903–1987 1920s–1930s Pittsburgh mobster associated with Moe Davis and Lou Rothkopf. Acquitted of the 1931 murder of Cleveland city councilman William E. Potter. [2]
Hyman Abrams No image
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1920s–1960s Lieutenant of Boston Mobster Charles Solomon during Prohibition. Later financed syndicate Las Vegas casinos with Meyer Lansky, Carl Cohen and Jack Entratter during the 1950s and 1960s. [1][2]
Hyman Amberg No image
available
1902–1926 1919–1926 New York mobster and chief enforcer for his brothers Joseph and Louis "Pretty" Amberg. Hyman and another convict committed suicide following an unsuccessful escape attempt from Tombs Prison. [4][5]
Hyman Holtz No image
available
1896–1939 1920s–1930s New York labor racketeer associated with Jacob Orgen and a later protege of Louis Buchalter. [4]
Hyman Larner No image
available
1913–2002 1950s–1970s A close associate of Sam Giancana, he headed gambling and smuggling operations for the Chicago Outfit during the 1960s and 1970s.
Ike Bloom IkeBloom.JPG 1865–1930
An early organized crime figure in Chicago associated with "Big Jim" Colosimo. Owned some of the city's most popular nightclubs, such as Midnight Frolics and Kreiberg's, during Prohibition. [7]
Irving Feinstein No image
available
1910–1939 1930s New York mobster involved in illegal gambling and labor racketeering with Louis "Lepke" Buchalter during the 1930s.
Irving Kaye No image
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?-1977 1950s–1970s New York crew member of Longy Zwillman[19] and coin-op business partner of Gerardo Catena.[20]
Irving, Meyer and William Shapiro   1904–1931 (Irving)
1908–1931 (Meyer)
1911–1934 (William)
1920s–1930s Rivals of Louis Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro during the late 1920s and 1930s. Irving and Meyer Shapiro were killed after initiating a gang war with Buchalter and Shapiro in 1931. William Shapiro was eventually murdered by Murder, Inc. in 1934. [2][5]
Isadore "Kid Cann" Blumenfeld No image
available
1900–1981 1900s–1980s Minneapolis mobster who ran the city's underworld from the 1920s until his conviction for violating the Mann Act in 1957. Later retired to Miami Beach where he and Meyer Lansky operated a real estate empire and were involved in syndicate operations in Miami and Havana up until his death in 1981. [1][2][12]
Isadore Friedman No image
available
d. 1939 1920s–1930s New York mobster associated with labor racketeer Louis Buchalter during the 1920s and 1930s.
Israel "Ice pick Willie" Alderman No image
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1902–1970
From North Minneapolis; associate with David Berman In Minneapolis and Las Vegas. 1965 convicted in Denver of conspiring to use telephone lines to threaten death to a disbarred attorney; 1969 reported under indictment for grand larceny. [3]
Jack "Big Jack" Zelig Jack Zelig NYWTS.jpg 1882–1912 1890s–1910s Start of the 20th century gangster and one-time leader of the Eastman Gang. Killed by Phil Davidson shortly before his testimony in the Charles Becker murder trial in 1912. [1][10]
Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro   1899–1947 1910s–1940s He and Louis Buchalter controlled industrial labor racketeering in New York during the 1920s and 1930s. Shapiro also helped establish Murder, Inc. Died in prison in 1947. [1][2][5][6][8][9][10]
Jacob "Little Augie" Orgen JacobOrgen.jpg 1901–1927 1900s–1920s New York gangster involved in bootlegging and labor racketeering during Prohibition. He took control of the garment district from Nathan Kaplan at the end of the end of the third labor sluggers war. Killed by his former associates Lepke Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro in 1927. [1][5][6][10]
Jacob Katzenberg No image
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1888-? 1920s–1930s New York organized crime figure who supplied narcotics to mobsters throughout the United States during the 1920s and 1930s.
Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik No image
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1886–1956 1910s–1950s Financial and legal advisor to the Chicago Outfit. [1][2][6][7][8][9][10]
John "Johnny Spanish" Wheiler No image
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1891–1919 1900s–1910s A former member of the Five Points Gang, he and "Kid Dropper" Nathan Kaplan battled over New York's garment district during the Second Labor Sluggers War. [1][6]
John "Spanish Louie" Lewis No image
available
d. 1910 1900s Gunman/stick up artist at the turn of the century.
John Factor No image
available
1892–1984 1920s–1960s British-born Chicago gangster and con artist associated with the Chicago Outfit whose staged 1933 kidnapping resulted in the wrongful conviction of Roger Touhy. He later became a prominent businessman and casino owner in Las Vegas 1950s and 1960s. [2][7]
Joseph "Doc" Stacher No image
available
1902–1977 1920s–1960s An associate of Abner Zwillman and Meyer Lansky. Assisted Lansky in organizing the Atlantic City Conference and later in financing syndicate casinos in Las Vegas. Deported from the U.S. in 1964 and later emigrated to Israel where he died years later. [1][2][6][10]
Joseph "Joe the Greaser" Rosenzweig No image
available
1891–? 1910s New York labor racketeer allied with "Dopey" Benny Fein during the first labor slugger war. [1]
Joseph Amberg No image
available
1892–1935 1919–1935 New York mobster who led one of the top gangs in Brooklyn during the 1920s and 1930s with brothers Hyman and Louis Amberg. Amberg and an associate, Morris Kessler, were executed by Murder, Inc. in his Brownsville auto garage. [4][5]
Joseph Linsey No image
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1899–1994 1920s–1970s Lieutenant of Boston mobster Charles Solomon during Prohibition. After Solomon's death in 1933, he and other associates split Solomon's territory between themselves.
Joseph Reinfeld No image
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Early, major bootlegger in the northeast U.S.; established connections with the Bronfmans in Canada and brought Longy Zwillman into the bootlegging empire that Zwillman eventually took over. After Prohibition, went legitimate, establishing the largest wholesale liquor distributorship in New Jersey.
Joseph Toblinsky No image
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1879–? 1900s–1930s He, along with Jacob Levinsky and Charles Vitoffsky, led a criminal organization in New York's Lower East Side known as the Yiddish Black Hand around the start of the 20th century.
Leonard Patrick No image
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1913–2006 1920s–1990s One-time member of the Chicago Outfit involved in bookmaking and extortion with Gus Alex. Agreed to become a government witness in 1992.
Lou Kravitz No image
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fl. 1933–1939 1930s New York labor racketeer and drug trafficker involved in a major heroin operation with Jack Lvovsky and Yasha Katzenberg during the early 1930s. Later testified against Lepke Buchalter at his trial. [1][5]
Lou Rothkopf No image
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1920s–1930s Longtime associate of Meyer Lansky, he was a member of the Bug and Meyer Mob during Prohibition. Later ran syndicate gambling operations in Cleveland with Moe Dalitz, Jack Licavoli, Maurice Kleinman and Thomas Joseph McGinty (aka T. J. McGinty). [2][6][7][8]
Louis "Lepke" Buchalter Louis Buchalter.jpg 1897–1944 1910s–1940s New York labor racketeer who dominated the Lower East Side with Jacob Shapiro during the 1920s and 1930s. Later headed Murder, Inc. and was eventually sent to the electric chair at Sing Sing for his role in the organization. He is the only major mobster to be executed by the state. [1][2][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][13][14]
Louis "Pretty" Amberg No image
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1897–1935 1919–1935 He and brothers Hyman and Joseph Amberg led one of the top criminal gangs in Brooklyn during the 1920s and 1930s. The last surviving brother, he was murdered a month after his brother Joseph by members of Murder, Inc. [4][6]
Louis Cohen   1904–1939 1910s–1930s New York mobster who killed Nathan Kaplan on behalf of rival labor racketeers Jacob Orgen and Louis Buchalter in 1923. [5]
Ludwig "Tarzan" Fainberg No image
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b. 1958 1980–1999 Ukrainian-born New York mobster associated with the Russian Mafia in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn and South Florida during the 1990s. He was convicted on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act charges for his involvement in arranging the sale of a Russian submarine to a group of Colombian drug dealers in 1999.
Martin Goldstein No image
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1905–1941 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. Involved in the 1939 murder of Irving Feinstein and later executed with other members of Murder, Inc. in 1941. [4][5]
Martin Krugman No image
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1919–1979 1970s Bookmaker and associate of the Lucchese crime family during the 1970s. Disappeared and presumably killed following the Lufthansa heist in 1978.
Max "Big Maxie" Greenberg No image
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1883–1933
Detroit mobster and a member of Egan's Rats. [1][5][10][14]
Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach Kid Twist.JPG d. 1908 1890s–1900s New York gangster and head of the Eastman Gang after the arrest of Monk Eastman in 1904. Engaging in a feud with the Five Points Gang, he and his bodyguard were gunned down by Louie the Lump at Coney Island in 1908. [1]
Max Mermelstein No image
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1942–2008 1970s–1980s A drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel in the late 1970s and early 1980s, who later became a key informant against the organization.
Maxie Eisen No image
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1910s–1920s Chicago labor racketeer allied with Dion O'Banion and the North Side Gang, and later with the Joe SaltisFrank McErlane Gang during the 1920s. [6][7][8][12]
Mendel Epstein No image
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b. 1940s 1980s
–2013
New York gangster who until his arrest in 2013 led a divorce-gang that kidnapped, tortured and extorted Jewish men into religiously divorcing their wives. [17]
Meyer Lansky Meyer Lansky NYWTS 1 retouched.jpg 1902–1983 1910s–1970s One of the major underworld figures of the 20th century. He was involved in the formation of the National Crime Syndicate and helped organize syndicate gambling operations in Cuba and Las Vegas. [1][2][5][6][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]
Mickey Cohen Mickey Cohen.jpg 1914–1976 1923–1961 Major underworld figure in Los Angeles during the 1930s and 1940s. Later helped Bugsy Siegel set up The Flamingo in Las Vegas and ran its sports book operation. [1][2][6][9][10][11][12][14]
Moe Dalitz No image
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1899–1989 1920s–1960s Leader of the Mayfield Road Gang during Prohibition. He was later involved in the development of syndicate gaming in Las Vegas during the 1940s and 1950s. [1][2][6][7][8][9][10][11]
Moe Sedway   1894–1952 1920s–1950s Lieutenant of New York mobster Meyer Lansky. Later involved in running syndicate casinos in Las Vegas during the 1940s and 1950s. [2]
Monk Eastman Monk Eastman mugshot 1903.jpg 1873–1920 1898–1920 Founder of the Eastman Gang, one of the last of New York's major street gangs, and dominated the city's underworld around the start of the 20th century. [1][4][9][10]
Monya Elson No image
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b. 1951 1970s–1990s Russian-born mobster who feuded with Boris Nayfeld over control of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn during the 1990s. One of Ukrainian mobster Semion Mogilevich's closest associates, he at one time controlled a criminal empire stretching from Russia to New York and Los Angeles. [15][16]
Morris Rudensky No image
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1898–1988 1920s Prominent cat burglar and safe-cracker.
Moses Annenberg No image
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1877–1942 1904–1936 Newspaperman and organized crime figure. Hired and directed criminal gangs on behalf of the Hearst Corporation during Chicago's "circulation wars" of 1910–1911, and later became owner of the National Racing Wire during the 1920s and 1930s. Later used his wealth to purchase The Philadelphia Inquirer and found the Annenberg Foundation. Jailed for tax evasion in 1939. [1][2][6][7][8][9]
Nat Evans
(Nathaniel Isaac Evensky)
No image
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1876–1935 1900s–1940s Gambler and associate of Arnold Rothstein; implicated in the 1919 "Black Sox Scandal" as "Rachie Brown". [18]
Otto "Abbadabba" Berman No image
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1889–1935 1920s–1930s Mob accountant and financial advisor for New York mobster Dutch Schultz. [1][2][5][6][9][10]
Philip "Pinchy" Paul No image
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d. 1914 1900s–1910s New York labor racketeer who headed a coalition of independent gangs against Joseph Rosenzweig and Benjamin Fein during the first labor sluggers war.
Philip Kovolick No image
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1908–1971 1920s–1970s New York mobster associated with labor racketeer Louis "Lepke" Buchalter during the 1920s and 1930s. He was a member of Murder, Inc. until his conviction on narcotics charges in 1941.
Phillip Kastel No image
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1893–1962 1900s–1950s New York gambler associated with Arnold Rothstein and Frank Costello. He later ran gambling operations for the Genovese crime family in New Orleans. [2]
Samuel "Nails" Morton No image
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1894–1923 1910s–1920s A former World War I war hero, Weiss was among Dion O'Bannion's top enforcers in the North Side Gang during the early 1920s. [1][6][7][9]
Samuel "Red" Levine   1903–1972 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. Involved in the 1931 murders of Abraham "Bo" Weinberg, Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano. [1][10]
Samuel Weiss No image
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1904–? 1920s–1930s Hired gunman associated with New York labor racketeer Jacob Orgen during the third Labor Slugger War. Investigated for extortion by District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey during the late 1930s.
Seymour Magoon No image
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d. 1940 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. Later became a state witness and corroborated Reles' testimony. [5][10]
Stanley Diamond No image
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1922–1991 1960s–1970s Associate member of the Lucchese crime family associated with Henry Hill and Jimmy Burke during the 1970s. [14]
Vach "Cyclone Louie" Lewis No image
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d. 1908 1900s A former circus strongman and bodyguard of New York gang leader Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach. He and Zwerbach were gunned down by Louie the Lump at Coney Island in 1908. [1]
Waxey Gordon   1889–1952 1900s–1950s New York mobster who oversaw bootlegging operations for Arnold Rothstein during Prohibition. He was eventually imprisoned for tax evasion in 1933 and, again in 1951, for selling heroin. [1][2][5][6][7][9][10]
Whitey Krakow No image
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d. 1941 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. He was a suspect in the 1939 gangland slaying of Harry "Big Greenie" Greenberg.
William Lipshitz No image
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1910s–1920s Newsboy turned gangster, he murdered labor racketeer Benjamin Levinsky on behalf of Nathan Kaplan in 1922. [21]
William Morris Bioff No image
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1900–1955 1920s–1930s Chicago labor racketeer who extorted millions of dollars from Hollywood studios on behalf of the Chicago Outfit during the 1930s. [1][2][6][9]