January 19, 1888
|Died||June 24, 1952 64) (aged|
Alcatraz Island, California, United States
|Conviction(s)||Tax evasion, Narcotics trafficking|
|Criminal penalty||10 years, 25 years|
Waxey Gordon (born Irving Wexler; January 19, 1888 – June 24, 1952) was an American gangster who specialized in bootlegging and illegal gambling. An associate of Arnold Rothstein during prohibition, he was caught up in a power struggle following Rothstein's death. Fellow Rothstein associates Charles Luciano and Meyer Lansky provided authorities with evidence that led to his imprisonment for ten years.
Rum-running, or bootlegging, is the illegal business of transporting (smuggling) alcoholic beverages where such transportation is forbidden by law. Smuggling usually takes place to circumvent taxation or prohibition laws within a particular jurisdiction. The term rum-running is more commonly applied to smuggling over water; bootlegging is applied to smuggling over land.
Arnold Rothstein nicknamed "the Brain", was an American racketeer, businessman and gambler who became a kingpin of the Jewish mob in New York City. Rothstein was widely reputed to have organized corruption in professional athletics, including conspiring to fix the 1919 World Series. He was also a mentor of future mafia boss Lucky Luciano.
Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933.
He was born Irving Wexler to Polish Jewish immigrant parents in New York's Lower East Side on January 19, 1888. Gordon became known as a pickpocket and sneak thief as a child, becoming so successful he earned the nickname "Waxey" for supposedly being so skilled in picking pockets it was as if his victims' wallets were lined with wax. In 1914, he participated in a gang fight that resulted in the death of a court clerk named Samuel Straus. Wexler was put on trial for the crime but acquitted by a jury in February 1917.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
The Lower East Side, sometimes abbreviated as LES, is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan, roughly located between the Bowery and the East River, and Canal Street and Houston Street. Traditionally an immigrant, working class neighborhood, it began rapid gentrification in the mid-2000s, prompting the National Trust for Historic Preservation to place the neighborhood on their list of America's Most Endangered Places.
Joining "Dopey" Benny Fein's labor sluggers in the early 1910s Gordon helped organize Fein's operations before being noticed by Arnold Rothstein, who hired him away from Fein and put him to work as a rum-runner during the first years of Prohibition.
Gordon's success later led him to run all of Rothstein's bootlegging on most of the east coast, specifically New York and New Jersey, and importing large amounts of Canadian whisky over the Canada–United States border. Gordon, now earning an estimated $2 million a year, began buying numerous breweries and distilleries as well as owning several speakeasies. Gordon began to be known to live extravagantly, traveling in limousines and living in prominent Manhattan hotel suites, as well as owning mansions built for him in New York and Philadelphia.
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.
New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, making it the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states with its biggest city being Newark. New Jersey lies completely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income as of 2017.
The Canada–United States border, officially known as the International Boundary, is the longest international border in the world between two countries. It is shared between Canada and the United States, the second- and fourth/third largest countries by area, respectively. The terrestrial boundary is 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi) long, of which 2,475 kilometres (1,538 mi) is Canada's border with Alaska. Eight Canadian provinces and territories, and thirteen U.S. states are located along the border.
Rothstein died in 1928 and Gordon's position began to decline.He made an alliance with future National Crime Syndicate founders Charles Luciano, Louis Buchalter, and Meyer Lansky. Gordon, however, constantly fought with Lansky over bootlegging and gambling interests and soon a gang war began between the two; several associates on each side were killed. Lansky, with Luciano, supplied interim United States Attorney Thomas E. Dewey with information leading to Gordon's conviction on charges of tax evasion in 1933.
The National Crime Syndicate was the name given by the press to the multi-ethnic, loosely connected American confederation of several criminal organizations, a confederation that mostly consisted of the closely interconnected Italian-American Mafia and Jewish mob but also included to various lesser extents Irish-American criminal organizations and other ethnic crime groups. The name's origins are uncertain.
Charles "Lucky" Luciano was an influential Italian-born mobster, criminal mastermind, and crime lord who operated mainly in the United States. Luciano is considered the father of modern organized crime in the United States for the establishment of the first Commission. He was also the first official boss of the modern Genovese crime family. He was, along with his associates, instrumental in the development of the National Crime Syndicate.
Louis Buchalter was an American mobster and head of the Mafia hit squad Murder, Inc. during the 1930s. Buchalter was one of the premier labor racketeers in New York City during that era.
Gordon had a large million-dollar operation that included many trucks, buildings, processing plants, and associated employees and his business front could not account for this ownership and cash flow and he paid no taxes on it. Gordon was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment. At this time he was married to a rabbi's daughter and their son was in medical school. This son died in a weather-related automobile accident while traveling from an out-of-town college planning to plead with the judge for leniency with his father's sentence. Gordon had tried to insulate his otherwise respectable family from his organized crime career and incident greatly shocked their relations, and great stress was put on the deteriorating marriage.
An income tax is a tax imposed on individuals or entities (taxpayers) that varies with respective income or profits. Income tax generally is computed as the product of a tax rate times taxable income. Taxation rates may vary by type or characteristics of the taxpayer.
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisaic and Talmudic era, when learned teachers assembled to codify Judaism's written and oral laws. The first sage for whom the Mishnah uses the title of rabbi was Yohanan ben Zakkai, active in the early-to-mid first century CE. In more recent centuries, the duties of a rabbi became increasingly influenced by the duties of the Protestant Christian minister, hence the title "pulpit rabbis", and in 19th-century Germany and the United States rabbinic activities including sermons, pastoral counseling, and representing the community to the outside, all increased in importance.
A medical school is a tertiary educational institution, or part of such an institution, that teaches medicine, and awards a professional degree for physicians and surgeons. Such medical degrees include the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Doctor of Medicine (MD), or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). Many medical schools offer additional degrees, such as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D), Master's degree (M.Sc), a physician assistant program, or other post-secondary education.
Upon Gordon's release from prison, he found his gang long since disbanded. Ignored by his former political connections, he reportedly remarked to a journalist, "Waxey Gordon is dead. Meet Irving Wexler, salesman." He moved to California, a single man, and during World War II he was able to obtain 10,000 lbs of scarce, coupon-rationed sugar to sell on the black market. FBI investigations revealed he had high-level international narcotics connections, and was given the U.S. West Coast as a protected territory for distribution of imported illegal drugs since he lost his bootlegging business on the East Coast.
In 1951, Gordon was arrested for selling heroin to an undercover police officer.The 62-year-old gangster reportedly offered the detective all his money in exchange for his release. When the detective refused, Gordon jokingly pleaded with the detective to kill him instead of arresting him for "peddling junk." Gordon was later convicted, and due to his long criminal record was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment in Alcatraz, where he died of a heart attack on June 24, 1952.
Meyer Lansky, known as the "Mob's Accountant", was an American major 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.
Salvatore Maranzano was an organized crime figure from the town of Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, and an early Cosa Nostra boss who led what later would become the Bonanno crime family in the United States. He instigated the Castellammarese War to seize control of the American Mafia operations and briefly became the Mafia's capo di tutti capi. He was murdered under the orders of Charles "Lucky" Luciano, who established an arrangement in which families shared power to prevent future turf wars.
Joe Adonis, also known as "Joey A", "Joe Adone", "Joe Arosa", "James Arosa", and "Joe DiMeo", was a New York mobster who was an important participant in the formation of the modern Cosa Nostra crime families.
The Bugs (Bugsy) and Meyer Mob was a Jewish-American street gang in Manhattan, New York City's Lower East Side. It was formed and headed by mobsters Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky during their teenage years shortly after the start of Prohibition. The Bugs and Meyer mob acted as a predecessor to Murder, Inc.
Jewish-American organized crime emerged within the American Jewish community during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It has been referred to variously in media and popular culture as the Jewish Mob, Jewish Mafia, Kosher Mafia, Kosher Nostra, or Undzer Shtik. The last two of these terms are direct references to the Italian Cosa Nostra; the former is a play on the word kosher, referring to Jewish dietary laws; while the latter is a direct translation of the Italian phrase Cosa Nostra into Yiddish, which was at the time the predominant language of the Jewish diaspora in the United States.
The Atlantic City Conference held between 13–16 May 1929 was a historic summit of leaders of organized crime in the United States. It is considered by most crime historians to be the earliest organized crime summit held in the US. The conference had a major impact on the future direction of the criminal underworld and it held more importance and significance than the Havana Conference of 1946 and the Apalachin meeting of 1957. It also represented the first concrete move toward a National Crime Syndicate.
Anthony Carfano, also known as "Little Augie Pisano", was a New York gangster who became a caporegime, or group leader, in the Luciano crime family under mob bosses Charles "Lucky" Luciano and Frank Costello.
The Broadway Mob was a New York bootlegging gang during Prohibition. Although headed by Joe Adonis, the gangs day-to-day operations were handled by Charles "Lucky" Luciano and Frank Costello as well as financially backed by Arnold Rothstein. During Manhattan's bootleg wars, Rothstein would bring in the Bug and Meyer Mob, led by Meyer Lansky and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, to protect alcohol shipments.
Jacob "Little Augie" Orgen was a New York gangster involved in bootlegging and labor racketeering during the Prohibition.
Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro was a New York mobster who, with his partner Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, controlled industrial labor racketeering in New York for two decades and established the Murder, Inc. organization.
Joseph "Joe The Greaser" Rosenzweig was a Jewish American and New York City labor racketeer in the early 1900s as an ally of "Dopey" Benny Fein during the Labor Slugger Wars (1914–1917).
Harry "Nig" Rosen was a Philadelphia mobster who was a major organized crime figure on the east coast with influence as far as Atlantic City, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Charles "King" Solomon was a Jewish-Russian mob boss who controlled Boston's bootlegging, narcotics, and illegal gambling during the Prohibition era.
Max "Big Maxie" Greenberg (1883–1933) was an American bootlegger and organized crime figure in Detroit, Michigan, and later a member of Egan's Rats in St. Louis. He oversaw the purchasing of sacramental wine from Orthodox rabbis, then allowed under the Volstead Act, which were sold to bootleggers in the St. Louis–Kansas City, Missouri area during Prohibition. He was also associated with mobsters in this particular method of acquiring illegal liquor including Waxey Gordon, Meyer Lansky and Arnold Rothstein.
The history of the National Crime Syndicate started with prohibition which began on January 16, 1920. Ethnic gangs, businessmen and everyday citizens across the United States became involved in rumrunning to obtain quick wealth and power. Prohibition was also the beginning of great wealth, power and political influence for crime groups and made it possible to begin planning an eventual move to organize crime on a national level.
Jacob "Yasha" Katzenberg was an organized crime figure in New York who supplied narcotics to mobsters including Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Waxey Gordon, Charles "King" Solomon, Harry "Nig" Rosen, the Torrio–Capone organization as well as mobsters in Detroit, Kansas City and St. Louis.
The Combined or Big Seven Group was a criminal organization headed by organized crime figures on the East Coast of the United States during Prohibition serving as the predecessor to the National Crime Syndicate of the 1930s. The organization consisted of seven Jewish, Italian and Irish American gangs on the east coast.
The Cohen crime syndicate, or the Siegel crime syndicate, was an Italian-American Mafia / Jewish Mafia crime family created by New York Jewish American mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel in the early 1930s. Siegel ran Los Angeles and later Las Vegas' illegal gambling and prostitution rings with his lieutenants Mickey Cohen, David Berman, Harold "Hooky" Rothman, Moe Sedway and boss of the L.A. family Jack Dragna.
Arnold Rothstein, millionaire gambler and race track man, was seriously wounded by a shot fired from a passing automobile tonight as he was walking up Seventh avenue near Fifty-fifth street.(subscription required)
Irving Wexler, better known as Waxey Gordon, wealthy beer distributer and all-round racketeer, pleaded not guilty to income-tax evasion yesterday. He appeared before Judge Goddard in Federal Court and was held in $100,000 bail until June 5, when a trial date may be set. ...(subscription required)
Waxey Gordon, beer baron of prohibition days, was arrested last night with three other men as a narcotics law violator.(subscription required)