DAPPER DON COLLINS, con man and sometimes rumrunner, continued his illicit ways. He was sentenced to sixteen months for swindling New Jersey apple farmer Thomas Weber out of $30,000. "This was an excellent prison," he told reporters on his release in August 1930. "I recommend it as a wonderful vacation spot." He then announced he was heading for Paris-and-like Judge Craterwas never seen again.
BETTY COMPTON, Jimmy Walker's mistress and later his wife, died of cancer, aged forty, in New York on July 12, 1944. Walker and Betty's fourth husband, Theodore Knappen, moved in together to keep her infant child (fathered by Knappen) and the two children Walker and Compton had adopted together. It didn't work out.
STEPHEN CRANE, after being run out of New York following the Charles Becker-Dora Clark affair, took up reporting in Florida. Crane, whose first book was Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, clearly had a soft spot in his heart for prost.i.tutes, soon taking up with Jacksonville madam Cora Taylor. After covering wars in Cuba and the Balkans, Crane died of tuberculosis in Baden, Germany, in 1900 at age twenty-eight.
"NICK THE GREEK" DANDOLOS continued as one of America's premier high-stakes gamblers, once reputedly winning $50 million in a single night. During his career he won or lost approximately $500 million. In the summer of 1949 Dandolos challenged gambler Johnny Moss to a legendary high-stakes, full-view-of-the-public, five-month poker marathon at Las Vegas's Horseshoe Casino. Dandolos lost $2 million. Exhausted, he pushed back his chair, calmly said, "Mr. Moss, I have to let you go," and went to bed. The Greek died broke in Los Angeles on Christmas Day, 1966. Friends paid for his funeral, burying him in a golden casket.
JACK DEMPSEY became a beloved elder statesman of sport, opening a popular restaurant in the Brill Building, at 1619 Broadway, just a few doors down from Lindy's. The Mana.s.sa Mauler died of a heart attack at age eighty-seven in New York City on May 31, 1983.
LEGS DIAMOND spun out of control. In July 1929 at his Broadway nightclub, the Hotsy Totsy Club, Diamond and a.s.sociate Charles Entratta fatally shot William "Red" Ca.s.sidy and Simon Walker. Through witness intimidation, Diamond escaped punishment, but soon became embroiled in a gang war against Dutch Schultz. In October 1929, he found himself riddled with bullets at the Hotel Monticello. For safety he moved operations to the Catskill Mountains. On the night of December 18, 1931, unknown a.s.sailants shot and killed Diamond in a shabby Albany, New York row house, a property now owned by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Kennedy, author of Legs.
Some have said that Dutch Schultz's gang killed Diamond. Others say Lucky Luciano's. Numerous other theories have been advanced. Suffice it to say that Diamond had a lot of enemies. Legs's widow, Alice Kenny Diamond, was the solitary mourner at his funeral. She committed suicide at an Ocean Avenue (Brooklyn) rooming house in 1933.
NATHANIEL I. "NAT" EVANS, A. R.'s partner in gambling houses and the World Series fix, died on February 6, 1935, leaving his only heir, his son Jules, to sue seventeen different insurance companies to collect on the loss of The Brook.
"JAKE THE BARBER" FACTOR, con man extraordinary, found England demanding his extradition for his Rothstein-backed stock scams. To avoid this fate, he had Al Capone's old gang fake his kidnapping, framing their rival, mobster Roger Touhy, in the bargain. Factor went to jail anyway-for mail fraud in 1943. He was released in February 1948. By 1955 the mob deemed Factor sufficiently respectable to become front man for their lucrative Las Vegas Stardust Casino.
In December 1962, Factor's considerable donations to John E Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign-and the slush fund for Kennedy's Bay of Pigs fiasco-paid dividends in the form of a highly questionable presidential pardon. Factor later became a generous benefactor to Southern California's minority community. He died in 1984 at age ninety-one.
STARR FAITHFULL, the girl in the chorus line at the Woodmansten Inn when Jimmy Walker learned of A. R.'s murder, soon came to her own sad end. On June 8, 1931 her bruised body washed ash.o.r.e at Long Island's West Long Beach. Local authorities announced it was foul play and that a well-known-but unnamed-politician was involved. Her case briefly aroused considerable public interest, but ultimately nothing further was learned concerning her demise. Novelist John O'Hara based his 1935 novel, b.u.t.terfield 8, on the case. Elizabeth Taylor won her first Academy Award for her portrayal of the Faithfull character, Gloria Wandrous, in the 1960 film version.
BRIDGET FARRY, the cleaning lady who wouldn't testify against Hump McMa.n.u.s, secured a $75-per-month job as a laundress in Harlem's St. Joseph's Home. "That is a city hospital," noted the authors of Gang Rule in New York, "wherein jobs are usually provided for amenable or useful persons by politicians." However, she left to operate a Second Avenue lunch counter. It failed, and in June 1934, Farry (now Mrs. John T. Walsh) was spotted picketing City Hall, carrying a placard reading: "LaGuardia: I want a food ticket or a job. If you can't do any better, then get out. There are plenty of intelligent men to take your place. I won't leave 'til I get it." His failure to emerge only further enraged Farry. "If he is a man," she stormed, "why don't he come out here? I'll beat the brains out of him."
LARRY FAY'S fortunes collapsed as the 1920s ended. His milk rackets fell apart. His last attempt at a nightclub, West 56th Street's cheesy Casa Blanca, barely sc.r.a.ped by. Fay laid off help and cut salaries by half, including that of doorman Edward Maloney. On New Year's Day 1932, Maloney complained drunkenly that he could not support his wife and four children-and shot Fay four times. Fay had a mere thirty cents in his pockets. Few noticed his pa.s.sing. Fewer attended his funeral.
DOPEY BENNY FEIN, the early labor racketeer, was arrested for murder in 1914 but released for lack of evidence. Shortly after a 1917 arrest for a.s.sault, he retired from labor racketeering, entering the manufacturing phase of the business. He retired from that ten years later and disappeared from public view.
EMIT. E. FUCHS, Rothstein's attorney in the St. Francis Hotel shooting incident, became owner of the Boston Braves in 1926. In 1929 he pled no contest to spending money illegally to influence the legalization of Sunday baseball in Boston. The Braves went bankrupt under his tenure, and he left the team in 1935, $300,000 in debt. Fuchs died at age eighty-three on December 5, 1961.
EDWARD M. FULLER, A. R.'s bucket-shop a.s.sociate, after release from Sing Sing moved to Florida but fell on hard times. Facing foreclosure on his Miami home, depressed, and drinking heavily, on October 7, 1932 he pressed a revolver to his right temple and blew his brains out. He died the next day at age fifty.
WAXEY GORDON, the A. R.-backed bootlegger, became one of Thomas Dewey's biggest catches. Not only did Dewey convict him on incometax evasion (with information provided by Gordon rivals Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky), on the stand he humiliated Gordon's pathetic attempts at respectability. During the trial, Gordon's nineteenyear-old son, Teddy, died in an automobile accident. Dewey gave the heartbroken gangster permission to attend the funeral. Released from prison in 1940, Gordon never returned to his former glory. In 1951 an undercover narcotics agent nabbed Gordon as Gordon sold him a packet of heroin. He died in Alcatraz on June 24, 1952.
LOUISE GROODY, wife of swindler W. Frank McGee, lost most of her fortune in the 1929 stock market crash. In World War II she served in the Red Cross and later appeared on television in small roles or on panel discussions. She died of cancer at age sixty-four on September 16, 1961, thirty-six years to the day after opening in No, No, Nanette.
TEXAS GUINAN, queen of the speakeasies, left the New York nightclub circuit and took her act-forty showgirls and her horse, Pie face-on the road. At Vancouver, British Columbia she contracted amebic dysentery, received the last rites of the Catholic Church, and died on November 5, 1933. She was forty-nine. Twelve thousand persons viewed her open casket at Broadway's Campbell Funeral Parlor. She instructed it to be left open so "the suckers can get a good luck at me without a cover charge." Five hundred cars followed her funeral cortege to Gate of Heaven Cemetery, where mourners rioted, stole flowers off her casket, and damaged her vault.
WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST faced bankruptcy in the 1930s, and Citizen Kane, but survived both (he overcame insolvency with the help of a $1 million loan from mistress Marion Davies). He died at eighty-eight at Miss Davies's Beverly Hills mansion, on August 14, 1951. Hearst's family barred her from the funeral.
JAMES J. HINES, after so carefully sheltering George McMa.n.u.s, continued his a.s.sociation with hoodlums and racketeers, particularly profiting from Dutch Schultz's lucrative Harlem numbers racket. Prosecutors found Hines hard to indict, thanks to his scrupulous avoidance of bank accounts. Making matters worse were Hines's New Deal connections (he controlled all federal patronage in Manhattan after 1938) and the compliance of his reliable henchman ("Stupid, respectable, and my man"), Manhattan District Attorney William Copeland Dodge.
Things began changing in 1937, when Thomas E. Dewey defeated Dodge. The following July, police arrested Hines on charges of accepting payoffs to protect the numbers racket. His first trial, before Supreme Court Justice Ferdinand Pecora, ended in a mistrial that September. Next tried before judge Charles C. Nott, Jr. (presiding jurist in George McMa.n.u.s' abortive trial), on February 26, 1939 he was found guilty of "contriving, proposing, and drawing a lottery." Sentenced to four-to-eight years, he was paroled on September 19, 1944. Hines died at age eighty on March 26, 1957.
MAX HIRSCH, trainer at A. R.'s Redstone Stables, trained three Kentucky Derby winners, one of whom, a.s.sault, won the 1946 Triple Crown. He was elected to the Racing Hall of Fame in 1959. Hirsch died at age seventy-eight on April 3, 1969, in New Hyde Park, New York, the day his horse, Heartland, won at Aqueduct.
MAXIE "Boo Boo" HOFF, "protector" of Gene Tunney in the first Dempsey-Tunney fight, died broke in 1941 at age forty-eight.
MAYOR JOHN E "RED MIKE" HYLAN, several years after leaving City Hall, was appointed by his old foe Jimmy Walker to a $17,500-a-year judgeship in the Queens Children's Court, where, said Walker, "the children can now be tried by their peer." He died of a heart attack at his Forest Hills home on January 12, 1936.
SHOELESS JOE JACKSON, the slugging Black Sox leftfielder, maintained his innocence but never returned to organized baseball. Once he asked Commissioner Landis for another chance. "Jackson phoned," Landis confided to sportswriter Frank "Buck" O'Neill, "and asked whether I would give him a fair hearing. I said, 'I give every man a fair hearing.' Then Jackson said, 'Thanks, Judge. Do you know that those gamblers never paid me all they owed me.' " That was as far as Jackson's hearing got-or needed to get.
In 1951 the South Carolina House of Representatives pa.s.sed a resolution supporting Joe's reinstatement. Broadway columnist Ed Sullivan scheduled Jackson for his Talk of the Town television show of December 16, 1951. Jackson died of a ma.s.sive heart attack on December 5.
BYRON "BAN" JOHNSON, president of the American League, never regained the power he lost to new Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis and lapsed into greater bouts of maudlin drunkenness. In July 1927, American League owners forced his retirement but wanted to honor the last eight years of his $40,000-a-year contract. Johnson wouldn't accept a cent. He died of diabetes at age sixty-seven on March 28, 1931. The story is told that Charles Comiskey came to the dying Johnson's bedside and held out his hand in friendship. Johnson wouldn't take it.
PEGGY HOPKINS JOYCE, gold digger and steerer to A. R.'s gambling houses, married six times-each time for money. In 1925 Anita Loos modeled the mercenary Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes after Joyce. She starred in Earl Carroll's Vanities of 1923 and W. C. Fields's bizarre 1933 film, International House, receiving top billing over Fields. Soon afterward her beauty faded. On June 12, 1957, Joyce died of lung cancer at New York's Memorial Hospital. A deathbed convert to Catholicism, she asked for one last big show: burial from St. Patrick's Cathedral. Her services were instead held at the more modest St. Catherine of Siena.
MEYER LANSKY cemented his position as the kingpin of organized crime, working with Frank Costello and Dandy Phil Kastel in New Orleans and Bugsy Siegel on the West Coast and operated particularly profitably in Cuban casinos. This was just the start of Lansky's farflung international gambling operations, in places such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Haiti, and Hong Kong. In 1970, when the federal government sought his conviction on income-tax charges, he fled to Israel to avoid prosecution. When Israel returned him to the U.S., Lansky beat the rap, as well as a later attempt to deport him to his native Poland. He died of a heart attack at age eighty-one on January 15, 1983. His personal fortune had once been estimated at $400 million. Six years after his death his estate had dwindled to the extent that his son Buddy applied for-and received-Medicare to cover mounting medical bills.
AARON J. LEVY, Tammany's fixer in the Becker murder case, the judge who provided injunctive protection for the Park View A.C., and later the State Supreme Court judge who set George McMa.n.u.s free on bail, found himself dogged by charges of corruption. None stuck until 1952, when the New York State Crime Commission heard testimony of Levy's accepting gifts from those appearing before his court and calculated that his expenditures for the period 1946-51 exceeded his income by $80,561. Levy resigned from the bench. He died at age seventy-four on November 21, 1955 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
LEO LINDY argued with his business partner and in 1930 opened up a second Lindy's across Broadway. Both restaurants coexisted, until the original Lindy's-the one A. R. walked out of to his death-closed on July 27, 1957. Leo Lindy died less than two months later at age sixty-nine. His second restaurant shuttered its doors in September 1969.
LILLIAN LORRAINE, steerer to A. R.'s gambling house and mistress of Flo Ziegfeld, died broke and alone in New York City on April 17, 1955.
In Lorraine's declining years a reporter interviewed her. Lorraine confessed: "[Ziegfeld] had me in a tower suite at the Hotel Ansonia and he and his wife lived in the tower suite above. And I cheated on him, like he cheated on [his wife] Billie Burke. I had a whirl! I blew a lot of everybody's money, I got loaded, I was on the stuff, I got the syphilis, I tore around, stopped at nothing, if I wanted to do it I did it and didn't give a d.a.m.n. I got knocked up, I had abortions, I broke up homes, I gave fellers the clap. So that's what happened."
"Well, Miss Lorraine," came the response, "if you had it to do over would you do anything different?"
"Yes," said Lorraine. "I never shoulda cut my hair."
LUCKY LucIANO narrowly escaped a brutal attempt on his life in 1931. He recovered and eliminated such rivals as Joe "The Boss" Ma.s.seria, Salvatore Maranzano, and Dutch Schultz. Together with Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello, Lepke Buchalter, Gurrah Shapiro, and Albert Anastasia, he ruled New York's rackets-until running afoul of prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey, who indicted him on charges of ninety counts of extortion and direction of harlotry. Luciano was sentenced to thirty to fifty years in Dannemora. During World War II federal officials secured Luciano's still-considerable influence to combat waterfront sabotage and to help pave the way for Mafia cooperation in the Allied invasion of Sicily. As a result, Luciano (twice previously denied parole) was released in 1945.
However, freedom meant exile-to his Italian homeland. But like many mob contemporaries, Luciano was drawn to Havana, and despite a U.S. government edict never to return to the Western Hemisphere, he traveled to Cuba. There he presided over an organizedcrime conclave that included Costello, Lansky, Willie Moretti, and Charles Fischetti. Discovered there, he was expelled and returned to Naples, where he continued to direct international drug smuggling and auto-theft operations.
In Luciano's final years, he planned to have a movie made of his life, an idea that irritated and frightened his fellow mob lords. He died of a heart attack at Naples on January 26, 1962 as he was about to meet a film producer.
HENRY l.u.s.tIG, A. R.'s brother-in-law, continued making money with the Longchamps restaurant chain. But l.u.s.tig cheated not only A. R., he cheated on his wife, and Edith Rothstein l.u.s.tig committed suicide in 1936.
l.u.s.tig remarried, branched into racing with the prestigious Longchamps Arms stable, and was sufficiently prosperous to purchase George Vanderbilt's estate at Sands Points, Long Island. In December 1945, however, federal authorities indicted him for falsifying books and records to avoid payment of $2,872,766 in income and wartime excess-profit taxes. He entered Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in October 1947. Paroled in September 1949, he died at age sixty-six at his Stanhope Hotel apartment on September 17, 1958. l.u.s.tig left the legal minimum to his widow. Another third of his estate went to his thirteen-year-old son, Henry Alan l.u.s.tig. In 1960, his widow, Marjorie Shaw l.u.s.tig, pet.i.tioned New York State Supreme Court to have their son's name changed to Henry Alan Shaw, "to save him from further shame and embarra.s.sment" resulting from his father's wartime tax evasions.
BILLY MAHARG returned to obscurity after the 1919 World Series. He never married, and until about 1940 he lived in a room at Philadelphia's Haymarket Hotel at 12th and Cambria-within walking distance of his job as a guard at the Ford Motor Company's Lincoln Division plant at Broad and Lehigh. For amus.e.m.e.nt he hunted small game outside the city and kept ten to twelve hunting dogs on the family farm in nearby Burholme. Retiring at age sixty-five, he moved to Burholme and puttered at farming and maintained his friendship with Grover Cleveland Alexander. Maharg died of arteriosclerotic heart disease at a Philadelphia hospital on November 20, 1953. At the time of his death, he was supplying novelist Margaret Mitch.e.l.l with information on Alexander for a planned-but never written-book.
Like Sleepy Bill Burns, Billy Maharg's obituary did not appear in the following edition of the Official Baseball Guide.
JUDGE FRANCIS X. MANCUSO, who ordered bail for A. R.'s a.s.sociates in the St. Francis Hotel shootings, resigned from the Court of General Sessions on September 3, 1929 after questions arose regarding the $5 million failure of the City Trust Company, of which he served as chairman. He was also indicted (charges were later dropped) for "fraudulent insolvency" in connection with that inst.i.tution. However, he remained as boss of East Harlem's 16th a.s.sembly District until 1951. That year Frank Costello, testifying before Congress, conceded he knew Mancuso better than anyone else in Tammany. The following year, Mancuso admitted that he was a blood relative of Costello. Judge Mancuso died at age eighty-two in Daytona Beach on July 8, 1970.
MARTIN T. MANTON, defense attorney in the second Becker trial, became Chief Judge of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was mentioned as a possibility for the United States Supreme Court. However, Manton had a problem. He took bribes, often from both sides in the same case. (He explained he would decide the case upon its merits and return the losing party's money.) In 1939, facing impeachment, "Preying Manton" resigned from the bench. Convicted of accepting $186,000 in bribes, he served two years in prison and died on November 17, 1946.
JAMES MARSHALL, whose testimony ultimately fried Charles Becker, was arrested in September 1919 for extorting funds from fellow black Ruth Gleason. Frederick J. Groehl, formerly a.s.sistant district attorney under Charles Whitman, represented him. No charges were ever brought.
W. FRANK MCGEE, convicted bucket-shop operator, was released from Sing Sing in June 1928. He quickly reverted to a life of con games and was wanted by Waukegan and Chicago police. On February 24, 1934, a penniless alcoholic calling himself Frank Welton died at New York's St. Vincent's Hospital. For five days the body lay unclaimed. It turned out to be the fifty-eight-year-old McGee. Authorities contacted McGee's ex-wife, actress Louise Groody, to a.s.sist in the burial. She refused. Only the generosity of a New York undertaker saved McGee from a pauper's grave.
JOHN MCGRAw, suffering not only from ill health but from financial reverses resulting from gambling and real estate speculation, resigned as Giants manager in June 1932. That winter he returned to his old haunts in Havana, but he suffered from more than could be cured by the Cuban sunshine. McGraw died of cancer and uremia at New Roch.e.l.le Hospital on February 25, 1934. Baseball elected him to its Hall of Fame in 1944.
GEORGE V. MCLAUGHLIN, Jimmy Walker's first police commissioner, returned to banking, heading the Brooklyn Trust Company, where he maneuvered his right-hand man Walter O'Malley into an ownership position in the Brooklyn Dodgers. He died of a heart attack at age eighty on December 7, 1967.
FRANK MCMa.n.u.s, George's brother, operated the Blossom Heath Grill on West 77th Street. In the early morning of May 22, 1931 bootlegger Charles "Vannie" Higgins wanted McMa.n.u.s to order a truckload of Higgins's beer. McMa.n.u.s refused and ordered Higgins and two of his goons out of the place. What happened next is unknown, but at 4:00 A.M., Higgins' men dropped him off at Polyclinic Hospital. He had four knife wounds in his chest, including one to his lung. Neither Higgins nor McMa.n.u.s admitted what happened. "I'm not trying to insult you," Higgins told a.s.sistant District Attorney Saul Price. "But I don't want to talk to these cops."
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GEORGE MCMa.n.u.s suffered a heart attack on October 29, 1930 on learning his wife, Amanda, had been killed in an automobile accident. He remarried and, despite deteriorating health, remained among New York's more prominent bookmakers. Yet something had changed. "McMa.n.u.s was never the same after the trial," noted horseracing writer Toney Betts. "He made book openhandedly with other people's money and got the reputation of welching and doing other things out of character." He continued to be arrested for gambling, with arrests coming in March 1934, July 1934, and July 1938.
BALD JACK ROSE, Charles Becker's accomplice in killing Beansy Rosenthal, talked about writing his memoirs, flirted with an unlikely career as an evangelist (often at High Episcopal congregations), and eventually became a caterer on Long Island. A c.o.c.ktail was named in his honor. It consists of 1 1/2 ounces applejack, 1/2 ounce grenadine, 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, and ice cubes. Combine all ingredients, shake vigorously, and strain.
SUBWAY SAM ROSOFF, among the highest rollers at A. R.'s Brook club, continued building subways, making money, and gambling heavily. For the 1930 Travers Stakes at Saratoga 1930 Max Kalik gave Rosoff "special" 500-to-1 odds on Jim Dandy (the normal odds were a more modest 100-to-1). Subway Sam plunked down $500-Jim Dandy won by eight lengths-and collected five $50,000 checks from Kalik. Rosoff died at age sixty-eight of a "chronic intestinal condition" at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital on April 9, 1951.
ABRAHAM ELIJAH ROTHSTEIN eventually moved into Beth Israel Hospital, an inst.i.tution for which he had performed significant philanthropic work, "where," as the New York Times noted, "his kindly nature endeared him to staff and fellow patients. With liberty to come and go as he pleased, the patriarchal Rothstein was considered 'part of the hospital' until his final illness." He died at age eighty-two on November 20, 1939.
ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN's estate was originally appraised, in March 1934, at $1,757,572. Wrangling over its division continued through 1939, by which time the actual value of its a.s.sets had plummeted to $286,232. After debts, funeral, and administrative expenses were subtracted, its value fell again to just $56,196. None of this included certain unsatisfied claims, including $409,360 to his widow, $50,000 due to the debtors of E. M. Fuller & Co., $20,000 to Irving Berlin, Inc., and $12,500 to silent film star Alice Terry.
ESTHER ROTHSCHILD ROTHSTEIN died after a four-and-a-half-month illness at Mount Sinai Hospital June 7, 1936. She was seventy-four.
CAROLYN GREEN ROTHSTEIN was soon romantically linked to British carpet merchant Robert Behar. They married, but soon separated. In May 1934 she published her memoir, Now I'll Tell (ghosted by Donald Henderson Clarke) that the Fox Film Corporation made into a motion picture improbably starring Spencer Tracy as "Murray Golden"-and featuring a yet-unknown Shirley Temple in a bit part. Reviewers praised Tracy, but the film did only mediocre business. "Mrs. Rothstein," Clarke noted, "was consulted frequently during the preparation of the scenario, at which time she was engaged in getting her own material in shape. A motion picture is not constructed on the plan of a book of facts. In this instance, both the film and the book of facts have been built upon the same material, but the film has been fictionalized, as is necessary." Clarke was right. The film placed even more emphasis of A. R.'s relationship with Carolyn Rothstein, than her own book did, and included a highly fanciful theory regarding her role in his death. In any case, playwright Mark Linder sued Fox, claiming they had plagiarized his failed stage play Room 349 (alternately t.i.tled "b.u.mped Off").
JACK ROTHSTONE and Fay Lewisohn divorced in October 1934, but he soon repeated his act of eloping with well-to-do young women. In March 1936 Rothstone, forty, eloped with twenty-one-year-old Bernice Levy, daughter of Manhattan Borough President Samuel Levy, also a wealthy attorney, real estate magnate, and philanthropist.
DAMON RUNYON continued fictionalizing the Broadway of the 1920s and 1930s, and Hollywood eventually made twenty-seven films from his short stories, most notably Guys and Dolls, Little Miss Marker, Lady for a Day, and Pocketful of Miracles. In 1938 Runyon devel oped throat cancer and eventually lost his voice. It was just part of what he would eventually endure: a daughter's mental illness, an I. R. S. investigation for back taxes, the nervous breakdown of his first wife, and the desertion of his second. No wonder that when his son suggested he ask a friend of his father to visit the dying author, the voiceless Runyon typed out: "No one is close to me. Remember that." When Runyon died in December 1946, World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker flew low over Broadway, scattering his ashes over the street the writer loved.
DUTCH SCHULTZ moved from numbers into slot machines, in partnership with Frank Costello and Dandy Phil Kastel. He soon faced trouble on numerous fronts. Fiorello La Guardia shut down his slots. The federal government prosecuted him (unsuccessfully) for incometax evasion-and, most ominously, he was high on Thomas E. Dewey's list of targets.
Schultz favored a proactive approach to Dewey: He wanted to kill him. Fellow mobsters Lucky Luciano, Johnny Torrio, and Joe Adonis thought his plan counterproductive. Their alternative: Kill Schultz, before he killed Dewey and created more heat than they could possibly survive. On the night of October 23, 1935, Schultz dined with a.s.sociates at Newark's Palace Chop House. Gunmen Emmanuel "Mendy" Weiss and Charles "The Bug" Workman entered and shot them all.
JUDGE SAMUEL SEABURY remained a key supporter of Fiorello LaGuardia. He became an early supporter of anti-n.a.z.i causes and, in 1950, wrote The New Federalism. He died at age eighty-five on May 7, 1958.
GURRAH SHAPIRO and Lepke Buchalter (see above) went into hiding on July 1937, but Shapiro, nervous and in declining health, couldn't take the fugitive life. In April 1938, he surrendered at the Federal Detention Center on West Street, announcing solemnly, "I'm Jake Shapiro." He spent the rest of his life in prison, first at the Federal Penitentiary near Ann Arbor, Michigan, then in New York State. In increasingly wretched health from diabetes and heart disease, he died at Sing Sing on June 9, 1947. He was just fifty.
JOSEPH E SHALLECK, Jimmy Hines's attorney and loyal henchman, was disbarred in 1930 for bribing a juror in a federal mail-fraud case. Former Democratic presidential candidate John W. Davis handled his appeal, and Shalleck's conviction was overturned by Appellate Court Judge Martin Manton (see above). During the 1932 Lindbergh kidnapping, Shalleck reappeared in the public eye, issuing the following statement: "The important mob leaders are doing their very best to bring about the return of the baby." Presumably, he spoke with their permission.
Joseph Shalleck died at age ninety-two at a Brooklyn nursing home on November 23, 1983.
STATE SENATOR ANDREW J. SHERIDAN was promised $40,000 for his work in handling the Rothstein estate. In 1935 he settled for $703.59.
HARRY SINCLAIR, another high-rolling patron of Rothstein's, "loaned" $100,000 to Warren Harding's Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall in return for oil leases on federal land at Teapot Dome, Wyoming. Fall went to jail for accepting the bribe, while a jury acquitted Sinclair of tendering it. However, Sinclair did serve nine months in federal prison for contempt of Congress. He died in Pasadena on November 10, 1956 at age eighty.
TOD SLOAN, A. R.'s erstwhile partner in John McGraw's pool hall, found a career acting in vaudeville and motion pictures. He died of cirrhosis of the liver on December 21, 1933.
ALFRED E. SMITH built the Empire State Building, broke with Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, and backed Republicans Alfred M. Landon and Wendell Willkie for president. He died at age seventy in New York City on October 4, 1944.
SIDNEY STAJER became involved in a bizarre incident regarding muckracking novelist Upton Sinclair's 1934 run for the California governorship. Sinclair learned his political rivals had spent $15,000 to hire thirty gangsters "for the purpose of organizing the underworld [in New York] in opposition" to Lewis' populist candidacy.
Wealthy young Sinclair a.s.sociate Richard Crane Gartz met with Stajer to prevent this. Stajer told Gartz not to worry: The money had gotten into the wrong hands and nothing would probably be done against Sinclair. At first Stajer was unsympathetic to Sinclair, but Gartz won him over. The FBI interviewed Gartz, noting that Stajer and other members of the underworld in New York wanted the [the patronage in the] Commissary Department and the Prison Department in California.... Stager [sic] also wanted Mr. Sinclair to refrain from interfering with any of stager's [sic] gambling activities in California . . . Mr. Gartz stated that he informed Stager [sic] that Mr. Sinclair would not promise anything, but that in his opinion Mr. Sinclair would not interfere with the gamblers if they did not commit any overt act or do anything to arouse public opinion which would force Mr. Sinclair to take action.
Stajer's only conviction was for criminal possession of postal stamps in December 1937. He died in Bellevue Hospital on December 11, 1940 at age forty-seven. Abe Attell claimed that he committed suicide.
CHARLES A. STONEHAM, New York Giants owner, bucket-shop operator, and high-stakes gambler, died of Bright's disease in Hot Springs, Arkansas on January 6, 1936. The Spalding Official Base Ball Guide remarked delicately that he and "the late John J. McGraw ... were a.s.sociated in sporting ventures in this country and Cuba." His son, the ineffectual, but less controversial, Horace C. Stoneham maintained control of the Giants until March 1976.
MAX D. STEUER, Bridgey Webber's attorney, remained "Tammany's favorite lawyer" but also had time to serve as counsel to a congressional committee and to represent such celebrities as crooner Rudy Vallee and mobsters "Boo Boo" Hoff and Johnny Torrio. "Mr. Steuer, in his later years," noted the New York Times, "became noted for his extremely long radio speeches." Steuer died of a heart attack at age sixty-eight on August 22, 1940.
JAMES M. SULLIVAN, Bald Jack Rose's attorney, was appointed by Woodrow Wilson in August 1913 as "Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary" (amba.s.sador) to Santo Domingo-with written support from Charles Whitman. In June 1915 Sullivan was removed from office for blatant corruption.
JOSEPH J. "SPORT" SULLIVAN popped up at Yankee Stadium during the 1926 World Series. Ban Johnson spotted him and had two special policemen escort Sullivan out of the ballpark.
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