Nothing gave a stronger boost to organized crime in America than Prohibition, which took effect on January 16, 1920. The ban on the manufacture and sale of drinking alcohol did nothing to dry up the demand for whiskey and wine. Many mobsters took advantage of this opportunity to line up their pockets.
One of the kingpin’s of New York City’s underworld was not a street tough gangster, but a refined gambler: Arnold Rothstein.
Rothstein aka ”The Big Brain” made big money, gambled big money, and used big money to reinvent the street-gang mentality of New York’s organized crime into an underground corporation.
He drew famous henchmen such as “Legs” Diamond, “Lucky” Luciano, Dutch Schultz and Frank Costello.
On November 4th, 1928 he was shot dead at the Park Central Hotel in NYC. It was rumored that the murder took place over a dispute originating from a high stake poker game that ran for three days in October.
Here’s what distinguished Rothstein from his fellow mobsters…