Gangster Legends, Mugshots with Engraved Signatures Framed.
Gangster Legends, Mugshots with Engraved Signatures Framed.
Mugshots of some of the Most Notorious Gangsters of the last century. Organized crime has long been a subject of fascination for the American public. But who are the men behind these vast criminal enterprises? They may be villains of the highest order brutal murderers, greedy robbers, and scoundrels engaged in all manner of illegal activity but these men also are the most romanticized and compelling of all American criminals, as evidenced by the sheer amount of film, television and literary work devoted to them. From Al Capone to Charles “Lucky” Luciano and beyond, here’s a brief look at the lives of the nine most notorious mobsters and gangsters of the twentieth century.
Born Salvatore Lucania in Sicily in 1897, Charles “Lucky” Luciano
Is known as the father of organized crime in the United States. With childhood friend Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel, he went from running extortion rackets on the mean streets of New York to form a National Crime Syndicate that spread the mob’s tentacles across the country. He also orchestrated the carving up of New York into the territories of five different mafia families and the establishment of The Commission, a de facto governing body for organized crime. Luciano’s luck ran out in 1936 when he was arrested and indicted on 60 prostitution charges. In July of that year, he was sentenced to between 30 and 50 years in prison. In 1946, the sentence was commuted as long as Luciano agreed to be deported to Italy. Apart from a period in the late 1940s when he lived in Cuba, Luciano spent the rest of his life in exile in Italy and collapsed and died of a heart attack at Naples International Airport on Jan. 26, 1962.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Jan. 17, 1899, Alphonse 'Scarface' Capone
Went on to become the ruthless leader of the Chicago mafia during the Prohibition era. He made his name synonymous with organized crime and amassed a personal fortune estimated at more than $100 million. In 1931, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Capone, accusing him of 22 counts of tax evasion totalling about $200,000. On Oct. 17, 1931, a jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Three years later, he was moved from a prison in Atlanta to the infamous Alcatraz in San Francisco and his health quickly deteriorated. He was released after nearly seven years but he had become confused and disorientated from paresis derived from syphilis and had become mentally incapable of rebuilding his gangland empire.
He died of a stroke and pneumonia with loyal wife Mae at his side at his Palm Island, Fla., home on Jan. 25, 1947.
Carlo "Don Carlo" Gambino (August 24, 1902 – October 15, 1976)
Was an Italian-born American gangster notable for being the boss of the Gambino crime family which is still named after him? After the 1957 Apalachin Convention, he unexpectedly seized control of The Commission of the American mafia. Gambino was known for being low-key and secretive. In 1937 Gambino was convicted of tax evasion but had his sentence suspended. He lived to the age of 74
Wasn’t scared of anything…except for germs. The pint-size L.A. gangster scrubbed his hands more than 100 times a day. But the obsession with cleanliness could never wipe away the bloody legacy he smeared across the criminal landscape on America’s West Coast. He may have been a leader in the Jewish Mafia but he maintained strong ties with the Italian-American mob and his hero was Al Capone, for whom he worked briefly in Chicago. He also moved in celebrity circles, including the likes of Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Sammy Davis Jr. After being busted for tax evasion in 1961, he was sent to Alcatraz, the fearsome prison off the coast of San Francisco. He later was moved to Atlanta Federal Penitentiary and diagnosed with stomach cancer following his release in 1972. He died in his sleep on July 29, 1976, at age 62.
The crooked financial genius of the underworld built an organized crime empire that netted him a personal fortune of more than $300 million. His tentacles extended from gambling in Cuba to loan-sharking and stock manipulation in the U.S. Despite his undoubted connections with some of the most feared and murderous mob bosses in history, Lansky was never found guilty of anything more significant than illegal gambling and served just one two-month term in jail in the 1950s. A leading member of the Jewish Mafia, he also had strong ties to the Italian mob and was instrumental in developing the National Crime Syndicate a loosely organized gangland federation in the United States. He was known for his business acumen and for only betting on a sure thing. At the height of his success, he was said to have exclaimed: “We’re bigger than U.S. Steel!” When Lansky died of lung cancer at his Miami Beach, Fla., home on Jan. 15, 1983, at the age of 80, he was worth almost nothing on paper. However, the FBI was convinced he left hundreds of millions stashed away in hidden bank accounts in Switzerland and other tax havens.
Born on June 15, 1908, in Chicago, Ill., Sam Giancana
Was feared in his own right as the tough-talking mob boss of the Chicago Outfit in the late ’50s and early ’60s but he was best known for his powerful friends. He was close to Frank Sinatra and his path crossed infamously with two of the biggest names of the 20th century, John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy. Giancana’s affair with actress Judith Campbell Exner who was seeing JFK at the same time triggered a scandal over the president’s Mafia connections. And speculation rages to this day among conspiracy theorists that Giancana may have played some role in Kennedy’s 1963 assassination. He was killed in the basement of his Oak Park, Ill., mansion on June 19, 1975, just days before he was due to give evidence in front of a committee investigating links between the CIA and the Cosa Nostra in alleged plots to assassinate President Kennedy.
Wasn’t the kind of shy gangster who pulled strings from a smoky backroom. Handsome and charismatic, he was one of the first of the front-page mobsters. The Jewish-American crime boss was a driving force behind the development of the Las Vegas Strip, and there was little attempt to hide the dealings of another of his sidelines he co-founded Murder Incorporated. From humble roots in New York, he partied with the rich and famous in Hollywood before meeting a suitably violent and headline-grabbing death in Beverly Hills in 1947. Nobody was charged with the murder and the crime remains officially unsolved, but Siegel’s theft and mismanagement of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino are said to have sealed his fate.
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