Meyer Lansky

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Meyer Lansky (born Meyer Suchowljanski; July 4, 1902 – January 15, 1983), known as the "Mob's Accountant", was a Jewish-American organized crime figure who, along with his associate Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the "National Crime Syndicate" in the United States. For decades he was thought to be one of the most powerful people in the country.

Lansky developed a gambling empire which stretched from Saratoga, New York to Miami to Council Bluffs and Las Vegas; it is also said that he oversaw gambling concessions in Cuba. Although a member of the Jewish Mafia, Lansky undoubtedly had strong influence with the Italian Mafia and played a large role in the consolidation of the criminal underworld (although the full extent of this role has been the subject of some debate).


Early life

Lansky was born Meyer Suchowljanski into a Jewish family in Grodno (Belarus) to Max Suchowljanski and his wife Yetta. In 1911, he emigrated to the United States with his mother and brother and joined his father, who had previously emigrated to the United States, and settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York.[1]

Lansky met Bugsy Siegel when he was a teenager. They became lifelong friends, as well as partners in the bootlegging trade, and together with Lucky Luciano, formed a lasting partnership. Lansky was instrumental in Luciano's rise to power by organizing the 1931 murder of Mafia powerhouse Salvatore Maranzano. As a youngster, Siegel saved Lansky's life several times, a fact which Lansky always appreciated. The two adroitly managed the Bug and Meyer Mob despite its reputation as one of the most violent Prohibition gangs.

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