New York's Greatest Mobsters


If you think New York is a tough place to grow up now, you just have no idea. At the turn of the century, millions of Jewish and Italian immigrants flooded the city, mixing with the Irish who immigrated earlier. These newcomers lived in a world with little sanitation or privacy, or much dignity.

From the steamy ghettos of the Lower East Side and Brooklyn, from tenements known to collapse and trap their inhabitants inside, came some very tough customers. Men who really would be just as glad to kill you as look at you, all of them with records to prove it.

All of them spent some time in prison. All of them killed to get where they got. Some of them were visionaries in their underworld field. None of them were known to be nice people.

Albert Anastasia was called kill-crazy even by his fellow mobsters.

Louis (Lepke) Buchalter - a labor racketeer, murderer and one of the richest men ever executed in the United States.

Jack (Legs) Diamond - became famous largely by being a target.

Meyer Lansky - the financial wizard of the American Mafia. Even the toughest mobsters followed the advice "Listen to the Little Man."

Charles (Lucky) Luciano - the chief architect of the organized crime syndicate system on the Italian side. He always knew what was good for business.

Dutch Schultz - beer baron of the Bronx during Prohibition who was rubbed out by the mob because he was a "loose cannon."

Ben (Bugsy) Siegel - a friend of Lansky who enjoyed murder almost as much as the high-life.

Murder, Inc., the crack assassination task force created by the "Commission" (organized crime's central ruling body) to act as the group's enforcement arm.

Return to

All original work Copyright 1998. All rights reserved.