If you are a serious mob researcher with firm opinions of what’s what and who’s who then this series is not for you. I’m planning on talking about probabilities and will probably even ask questions. After all, I wasn’t there and neither were you. And don’t tell me about the info the Feds had. They had what they were allowed to have. If this bothers you, feel free to click off the page. We’ll wait……..
Let’s go back to the 1920s. Prohibition. This is currently the time period that interests me the most. What’s going on in the world of the mob? First of all, there was no organization. There were a bunch of gangs clawing and scratching for the same turf. There was also Arnold Rothstein.
Rothstein was possibly the first gentleman gangster. He was a great gambler and amassed a large fortune. He’s also famous for fixing the 1919 World Series. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. I don’t think there is real solid proof that he did. What interests me more is some of the guys that Arnold was mentoring. Lucky, Meyer, Bugsy and Frank. I don’t even need to put their last names. This was like the 1927 Yankees all coming up as rookies at the same time.
These guys were all smart street wise young men who left to their own devices would probably have done fine. What Rothstein did was teach them to be organized and teach them to be gentlemen in a world of thugs. They each seemed to have their own thing. Their own super power. Lucky was the leader, Meyer was the financier, Bugsy was the muscle and Frank was the organizer and fixer. Everybody, including you and me has their strengths. Look what happened when they sent Bugsy out to Vegas. That wasn’t his strength and it got him killed.
Lucky spent his time getting guys behind him. People were growing tired of the Wild West mentality and he was organizing the resistance. What was Frank doing? Frank was making money. Rothstein financed his bootlegging endeavor and it went about as well as it could. He had a fleet of boats with real powerful engines that could outrun what the Coast Guard was using to chase them. Not only did Frank have the fleet of boats but he also had air cover. HELLO! AIR COVER!
It was an amazing time that will probably never be duplicated. I wonder if any of them really knew what was yet to come.