Bugsy Siegel

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Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel (born Benjamin Siegelbaum[1]; February 28, 1906 – June 20, 1947) was a Jewish-American gangster who was involved with Italian-American organized crime. Siegel was a major driving force behind large-scale development of metropolitan Las Vegas.[2]


Early life

Benjamin Siegelbaum[1] was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to a poor Jewish family from Letychiv,[3] Podolia Governorate of the Russian Empire, in modern Ukraine. As a boy, Siegel joined a gang on Lafayette Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and committed mainly thefts, until, with a youth named Moe Sedway, he devised his own protection racket: pushcart merchants were forced to pay him a dollar or he would incinerate their merchandise.

During adolescence, Siegel befriended Meyer Lansky, who was forming a small mob whose activities expanded to gambling and car theft. Siegel reputedly also worked as the mob's hitman, whom Lansky would hire out to other crime families. On January 28, 1929, Siegel married Esta Krakower, his childhood sweetheart and sister of hit man Whitey Krakower.

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