06 Oct

The media has a way of giving specific names to gangsters. For example, they gave Al Capone the name “Scarface.” They dubbed Lansky “The Chairman of the Board” and “The Mobs Accountant.” He was probably the most intelligent gangster in history. Meyer always concentrated on education. He had a deep desire to learn and to keep educating himself.

 His partner, Ben Siegel, once said, “That Meyer, can you believe it? He’s even a member of the book of the month club.” It doesn’t matter what type of business you are involved in; education is always the key. As a writer, I receive many questions on how to write and I usually tell them that if you want to be a writer, research and education are key to success. How can anyone be successful in business if they are not constantly learning how to grow their businesses in a new, faster, and more profitable manner? Meyer Lansky knew this and practiced it regularly. Keep learning and the growth of you and your business will follow.

Education, Education, Education 

 It’s Just Business

 Meyer Lansky was an entrepreneur. Bringing in vast amounts of money in various businesses was Lansky’s passion. During prohibition, he and his partners made millions selling illegal booze. Meyer knew he needed dependable transportation to carry truckloads of Kings Ransom Scotch he brought in from England. They opened a car rental company, and they owned dozens of new and reliable cars and trucks.

 They also owned speedboats that carried the alcohol to drop-off points like Cuba and The Bahamas. Prohibition made men like Lansky millions and this propelled many gangsters into selling drugs. Lansky also smuggled some heroin. The organized crime figure made money in many other ways. However, his true love was gambling, and he built casinos called “Carpet Joints” in Florida, New Orleans, and Cuba. Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel built the first casino in Las Vegas, The Flamingo. It was a disaster because Siegel went way over budget and millions disappeared. 

No one is sure what happened to the money, some thought his girlfriend Virginia Hill left town with it. Years later, In Austria, her body was found near a lone brook and was said she committed suicide, and another story suggested she had met with a former boyfriend, Joe Adonis, boss of the Genoese crime family and said that she was escorted home by two of his bodyguards the night she died. Other stories implicated Bugsy as the one who made off with the money and, as we all know, he paid the ultimate price for his betrayal. 

His long-time pal Meyer supposedly gave the order. Meyer Lansky made millions and after his death, some historians advocate he was worth over twenty million dollars and owned a bank in Switzerland. In her book, “Daughter of the King” Sandra Lansky said that her father was penniless and his money went to other members of the family. However, as we all can assume, we never know what most gangsters did with their money. 

The Organization

 Lucky Luciano, an associate of Lansky, started the National Crime Syndicate, an organization designed to oversee the activities of the Five Families. Meyer sat on the board. The syndicate, consisting of mainly Jewish and Italian members, would help settle problems between families and attempted to keep the peace and keep the function of the families guided toward business. When Dutch Schultz came to them and insisted, they allow him to kill prosecutor Thomas Dewey, they refused, and Schultz said he would do it no matter what. Killing Dewey would have been a total disaster for the mob, so they ordered the assassination of Dutch Schultz. Assassin’s shot him several times while in the men’s room of a restaurant. 

His Legacy Lives On 

Meyer Lansky was one of the only gangsters to die of natural causes. He died in 1980 at the age of 83 because of complications with his heart and cancer. Married twice, his second wife, Teddy, passed away several years later after a massive stroke. Meyer loved his grandchildren and insisted they knew certain things. He questioned them on topics such as sport, politics, and history. His legacy lives on and today we remember him as the most intelligent gangster in history and a man who built an empire that exists today.

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