List of Jewish American mobsters

This is a list of Jewish-American mobsters and organized crime figures, ranging from the late 19th century to the present day.

Name Portrait Life Years active Notes References
Hyman Abrams No image
1920s–1960s Lieutenant of Boston Mobster Charles Solomon during Prohibition. Later financed syndicate Las Vegas casinos with Meyer Lansky, Carl Cohen and Jack Entratter during the 1950s and 1960s. [1][2]
Hyman Amberg No image
1902–1926 1919–1926 New York mobster and chief enforcer for his brothers Joseph and Louis "Pretty" Amberg. Hyman and another convict committed suicide following an unsuccessful escape attempt from Tombs Prison. [3][4]
Joseph Amberg No image
1892–1935 1919–1935 New York mobster who led one of the top gangs in Brooklyn during the 1920s and 1930s with brothers Hyman and Louis Amberg. Amberg and an associate, Morris Kessler, were executed by Murder, Inc. in his Brownsville auto garage. [3][4]
Louis "Pretty" Amberg No image
1897–1935 1919–1935 He and brothers Hyman and Joseph Amberg led one of the top criminal gangs in Brooklyn during the 1920s and 1930s. The last surviving brother, he was murdered a month after his brother Joseph by members of Murder, Inc. [3][5]
Moses Annenberg No image
1877–1942 1904–1936 Newspaperman and organized crime figure. Hired and directed criminal gangs on behalf of the Hearst Corporation during Chicago's "circulation wars" of 1910–1911, and later became owner of the National Racing Wire during the 1920s and 1930s. Later used his wealth to purchase The Philadelphia Inquirer and found the Annenberg Foundation. Jailed for tax evasion in 1939. [1][2][5][6][7][8]
David Berman No image
1903–1957 1916–1957 Associate member of the Genovese crime family who ran syndicate operations in Iowa and Minnesota from the 1920s to the 1940s. Involved in syndicate casinos in Las Vegas during the 1940s and 1950s, he and Moe Sedway took over The Flamingo after Bugsy Siegel's murder in 1947. [2]
Otto "Abbadabba" Berman No image
1889–1935 1920s–1930s Mob accountant and financial advisor for New York mobster Dutch Schultz. [1][2][4][5][8][9]
Abe Bernstein No image
1892–1968 1910s–1960s Detroit mobster and leader of The Purple Gang. After the end of Prohibition, he ran syndicate gambling operations in Miami up until his death in 1968. [2][6]
William Morris Bioff No image
1900–1955 1920s–1930s Chicago labor racketeer who extorted millions of dollars from Hollywood studios on behalf of the Chicago Outfit during the 1930s. [1][2][5][8]
Charles Birger No image
1881–1928 1919–1928 Illinois bootlegger who feuded with the Shelton Brothers Gang throughout Prohibition. [10]
Alex "Shondor" Birns No image
1907–1975 A major gangland figure in Cleveland throughout the 20th century. At one time considered Public Enemy No. 1, he controlled the city's underworld until his murder by Danny Greene in 1975. [2]
Herbert Blitzstein No image
1934–1997 Loanshark and bookmaker for the Chicago Outfit during the 1950s and 1960s. He was the top lieutenant of Anthony Spilotro when he and his crew were sent to Las Vegas. [11]
Ike Bloom IkeBloom.JPG 1865–1930 An early organized crime figure in Chicago associated with "Big Jim" Colosimo. Owned some of the city's most popular nightclubs, such as Midnight Frolics and Kreiberg's, during Prohibition. [6]
Isadore "Kid Cann" Blumenfeld No image
1900–1981 1900s–1980s Minneapolis mobster who ran the city's underworld from the 1920s until his conviction for violating the Mann Act in 1957. Later retired to Miami Beach where he and Meyer Lansky operated a real estate empire and were involved in syndicate operations in Miami and Havana up until his death in 1981. [1][2][12]
Louis "Lepke" Buchalter Louis Buchalter.jpg 1897–1944 1910s–1940s New York labor racketeer who dominated the Lower East Side with Jacob Shapiro during the 1920s and 1930s. Later headed Murder, Inc. and was eventually sent to the electric chair at Sing Sing for his role in the organization. He is the only major mobster to be executed by the state. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][13][14]
Mickey Cohen Mickey Cohen.jpg 1914–1976 1923–1961 Major underworld figure in Los Angeles during the 1930s and 1940s. Later helped Bugsy Siegel set up The Flamingo in Las Vegas and ran its sports book operation. [1][2][5][8][9][11][12][14]
Louis Cohen 1904–1939 1910s–1930s New York mobster who killed Nathan Kaplan on behalf of rival labor racketeers Jacob Orgen and Louis Buchalter in 1923. [4]
Moe Dalitz No image
1899–1989 1920s–1960s Leader of the Mayfield Road Gang during Prohibition. He was later involved in the development of syndicate gaming in Las Vegas during the 1940s and 1950s. [1][2][5][6][7][8][9][11]
Mendel Epstein No image
b. 1940s 1980s
New York gangster who until his arrest in 2013 led a divorce-gang that kidnapped, tortured and extorted Jewish men into religiously divorcing their wives. [15]
John Factor No image
1892–1984 1920s–1960s British-born Chicago gangster and con artist associated with the Chicago Outfit whose staged 1933 kidnapping resulted in the wrongful conviction of Roger Touhy. He later became a prominent businessman and casino owner in Las Vegas 1950s and 1960s. [2][6]
Benjamin "Dopey Benny" Fein Fein.jpg 1889–1977? 1900–1941 New York mobster who dominated labor racketeering with Joseph Rosenzweig in the Lower East Side during the 1910s. [1][4][7][9]
Abraham Friedman No image
1897–1939 1920s–1930s New York mobster and enforcer for labor racketeer Nathan Kaplan, and later Louis Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro during the 1920s and 1930s. [4]
Martin Goldstein No image
1905–1941 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. Involved in the 1939 murder of Irving Feinstein and later executed with other members of Murder, Inc. in 1941. [3][4]
Waxey Gordon 1889–1952 1900s–1950s New York mobster who oversaw bootlegging operations for Arnold Rothstein during Prohibition. He was eventually imprisoned for tax evasion in 1933 and, again in 1951, for selling heroin. [1][2][4][5][6][8][9]
Gus Greenbaum No image
1894–1958 1910s–1950s Member of the Chicago Outfit and ran syndicate casinos in Las Vegas during the 1940s and 1950s. [1][2][5]
Max "Big Maxie" Greenberg No image
1883–1933 Detroit mobster and a member of Egan's Rats. [1][4][9][14]
Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik No image
1886–1956 1910s–1950s Financial and legal advisor to the Chicago Outfit. [1][2][5][6][7][8][9]
Hyman Holtz No image
1896–1939 1920s–1930s New York labor racketeer associated with Jacob Orgen and a later protege of Louis Buchalter. [3]
Harry Horowitz aka Gyp the Blood Gyp 2422667831 20669b23e4 o.jpg 1889–1914 1900s–1910s Leader of the Lenox Avenue Gang. [1][4]
"Kid Dropper" Nathan Kaplan No image
1895–1923 1910s–1920s A former member of the Five Points Gang, he and Johnny Spanish fought over control of labor racketeering during the Labor Slugger Wars. [1][5][9]
Phillip Kastel No image
1893–1962 1900s–1950s New York gambler associated with Arnold Rothstein and Frank Costello. He later ran gambling operations for the Genovese crime family in New Orleans. [2]
Harry Keywell No image
1910–1997 1920s–1930s Detroit mobster and member of The Purple Gang. A suspect in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and later convicted of Collingwood Manor Massacre in 1931. [2][12]
Lou Kravitz No image
fl. 1933–1939 1930s New York labor racketeer and drug trafficker involved in a major heroin operation with Jack Lvovsky and Yasha Katzenberg during the early 1930s. Later testified against Lepke Buchalter at his trial. [1][4]
Abe Landau No image
1898–1935 1920s–1930s Lieutenant of New York mobster Dutch Schultz. [1][2][4][8][9]
Meyer Lansky Meyer Lansky NYWTS 1 retouched.jpg 1902–1983 1910s–1970s One of the major underworld figures of the 20th century. He was involved in the formation of the National Crime Syndicate and helped organize syndicate gambling operations in Cuba and Las Vegas. [1][2][4][5][7][8][9][11][12][13][14]
Samuel "Red" Levine 1903–1972 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. Involved in the 1931 murders of Abraham "Bo" Weinberg, Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano. [1][9]
Vach "Cyclone Louie" Lewis No image
d. 1908 1900s A former circus strongman and bodyguard of New York gang leader Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach. He and Zwerbach were gunned down by Louie the Lump at Coney Island in 1908. [1]
Seymour Magoon No image
d. 1940 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. Later became a state witness and corroborated Reles' testimony. [4][9]
Harry Maione No image
1908–1942 1920s–1930s Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. Participated in the murders of the Shapiro Brothers and George Rudnick. [4]
Hyman "Pittsburgh Hymie" Martin No image
1903–1987 1920s–1930s Pittsburgh mobster associated with Moe Davis and Lou Rothkopf. Acquitted of the 1931 murder of Cleveland city councilman William E. Potter. [2]
Samuel "Nails" Morton No image
1894–1923 1910s–1920s A former World War I war hero, Weiss was among Dion O'Bannion's top enforcers in the North Side Gang during the early 1920s. [1][5][6][8]
Jacob "Little Augie" Orgen JacobOrgen.jpg 1901–1927 1900s–1920s New York gangster involved in bootlegging and labor racketeering during Prohibition. He took control of the garment district from Nathan Kaplan at the end of the end of the third labor sluggers war. Killed by his former associates Lepke Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro in 1927. [1][4][5][9]
Abe "Kid Twist" Reles Abe-reles.jpg 1906–1941 1921–1940 One of the most feared hitmen of Murder, Inc. during the 1930s, he later became a government witness and was responsible for sending many of his former partners to the electric chair. Died under suspicious circumstances while in protective custody in 1941. [1][2][3][4][5][8][9][13]
Harry Rosen No image
1920s–1950s Major bootlegger in Philadelphia during Prohibition. He was a member of the Big Seven and later involved in drug trafficking with Meyer Lansky during the 1930s. [2][6]
Chris Rosenberg 1950–1979 1970s A member of the Gambino crime family's DeMeo crew during the 1970s. He was later killed by DeMeo to cover up the murder of Colombian drug cartel members.
Bernard Rosencrantz No image
1902–1935 1920s–1930s Bodyguard and chauffeur of New York mobster Dutch Schultz. [2][4]
Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal 1929–2008 1960s–1980s One of the top sports handicappers in the United States during his lifetime. Secretly ran several syndicate casinos for the Chicago Outfit, most notably the Stardust, throughout the 1960s and 1970s. [2][11]
Joseph "Joe the Greaser" Rosenzweig No image
1891–? 1910s New York labor racketeer allied with "Dopey" Benny Fein during the first labor slugger war. [1]
Lou Rothkopf No image
1920s–1930s Longtime associate of Meyer Lansky, he was a member of the Bug and Meyer Mob during Prohibition. Later ran syndicate gambling operations in Cleveland with Moe Dalitz, Jack Licavoli, Maurice Kleinman and Thomas Joseph McGinty (aka T. J. McGinty). [2][5][6][7]
Arnold "The Brain" Rothstein 1882–1928 1900s–1920s One of the first major underworld figures in New York during the early 20th century. Widely reputed to have been behind the Black Sox scandal of 1919. [1][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][13]
Arthur "Dutch Schultz" Flegenheimer 1902–1935 1910s–1930s Headed bootlegging and policy rackets in New York during the 1920s and 1930s. [1][2][3][4][5][6][8][9][12][13]
Moe Sedway 1894–1952 1920s–1950s Lieutenant of New York mobster Meyer Lansky. Later involved in running syndicate casinos in Las Vegas during the 1940s and 1950s. [2]
Irving, Meyer and William Shapiro 1904–1931 (Irving)
1908–1931 (Meyer)
1911–1934 (William)
1920s–1930s Rivals of Louis Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro during the late 1920s and 1930s. Irving and Meyer Shapiro were killed after initiating a gang war with Buchalter and Shapiro in 1931. William Shapiro was eventually murdered by Murder, Inc. in 1934. [2][4]
Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro 1899–1947 1910s–1940s He and Louis Buchalter controlled industrial labor racketeering in New York during the 1920s and 1930s. Shapiro also helped establish Murder, Inc. Died in prison in 1947. [1][2][4][5][7][8][9]
Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel Mugshot Benjamin Siegel.jpg 1906–1947 1910s–1940s New York mobster associated with Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello and Charles "Lucky" Luciano during Prohibition. Credited with the creation of syndicate casinos in Las Vegas during the 1940s. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][11][13][14]
Charles "King" Solomon No image
1884–1933 1900s–1930s He and Irish gangster Dan Carroll controlled bootlegging, narcotics and illegal gambling in Boston during Prohibition. Killed at the Cotton Club by rival mobsters in 1933. [1][5][6][8][16]
John "Johnny Spanish" Wheiler No image
1891–1919 1900s–1910s A former member of the Five Points Gang, he and "Kid Dropper" Nathan Kaplan battled over New York's garment district during the Second Labor Sluggers War. [1][5]
Joseph "Doc" Stacher No image
1902–1977 1920s–1960s An associate of Abner Zwillman and Meyer Lansky. Assisted Lansky in organizing the Atlantic City Conference and later in financing syndicate casinos in Las Vegas. Deported from the U.S. in 1964 and later emigrated to Israel where he died years later. [1][2][5][9]
Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss No image
1909–1941 1927–1941 Hitman and member of Murder, Inc. credited with the murder of Irving Feinstein and at least five other gangland slayings. Sent to the electric chair at Sing Sing in 1941. [1][3][4][5][9]
Albert "Tick–tock" Tannenbaum No image
1906–1976 1920s–1950s Enforcer and hitman for Lepke Buchalter during the 1920s and 1930s. A member of Murder, Inc., he was responsible for the 1939 murder of Harry Greenberg. [1][3][4][9]
Benjamin Tannenbaum No image
1906–1941 1920s–1930s Mob accountant for New York labor racketeers Louis Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro during the 1920s and 1930s. Murdered by members of Murder, Inc. in 1941 while babysitting for a friend. [4]
Abraham Weinberg 1897–1935? 1920s–1930s Hitman and chief lieutenant for New York mobster Dutch Schultz during Prohibition. Disappeared in 1935 and long presumed to have been killed by the mob. [4]
George Weinberg No image
1901–1939 1920s–1930s Younger brother of Schultz' gunman Abraham Weinberg. After his brother's disappearance in 1935, he agreed to become a government witness but committed suicide while in police custody in 1939. [4]
Emanuel Weiss Louis Capone and Emanuel Weiss.jpg 1906–1944 1920s–1930s An enforcer for New York labor racketeer Louis "Lepke" Buchalter during the 1920s. He was also a member of Murder, Inc. up until his arrest in 1940. [3][4]
Jack "Big Jack" Zelig Jack Zelig NYWTS.jpg 1882–1912 1890s–1910s Start of the 20th century gangster and one-time leader of the Eastman Gang. Killed by Phil Davidson shortly before his testimony in the Charles Becker murder trial in 1912. [1][9]
Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach Kid Twist.JPG d. 1908 1890s–1900s New York gangster and head of the Eastman Gang after the arrest of Monk Eastman in 1904. Engaging in a feud with the Five Points Gang, he and his bodyguard were gunned down by Louie the Lump at Coney Island in 1908. [1]
Abner "Longy" Zwillman 1891–1959 1910s–1950s Prohibition gangster. Popularly known as the "Al Capone of New Jersey", he was a founding member of the "Big Seven" Ruling Commission. He was also associated with Murder, Inc. [1][2][4][5][6][7][8][9][11][14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj Fried, Albert. The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster in America. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980. ISBN 978-0-231-09683-6
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Newton, Michael. Mr. Mob: The Life and Crimes of Moe Dalitz. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7864-3516-6
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Abramovitch, Ilana. Jews of Brooklyn. Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2001. ISBN 978-1-58465-003-4
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Block, Alan A. East Side, West Side: Organizing Crime in New York, 1930–1950. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Books, 1983. ISBN 978-0-87855-931-2
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Sifakis, Carl. The Mafia Encyclopedia. New York: Da Capo Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0-8160-5694-1
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Johnson, Curt and R. Craig Sautter. The Wicked City: Chicago from Kenna to Capone. New York: Da Capo Press, 1998. (pp. 203–204) ISBN 978-0-306-80821-0
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Woodiwiss, Michael. Organized Crime and American Power: A History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8020-8278-7
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Reppetto, Thomas A. American Mafia: A History of Its Rise to Power. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2004. ISBN 978-0-8050-7798-8
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Cohen, Rich. Tough Jews: Fathers, Sons, and Gangster Dreams. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998. ISBN 978-0-684-83115-2
  10. ^ Dickey, Fred (October 7, 2001) "King of the Hills", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Farrell, Ronald A. and Carole Case. The Black Book and the Mob: The Untold Story of the Control of Nevada's Casinos. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995. ISBN 978-0-299-14754-9
  12. ^ a b c d e Rockaway, Robert A. But He Was Good to His Mother: The Lives and Crimes of Jewish Gangsters. Jerusalem: Gefen Publishing House, 1993. ISBN 978-965-229-092-2
  13. ^ a b c d e f Rubin, Rachel. Jewish Gangsters of Modern Literature. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-252-02539-6
  14. ^ a b c d e f Willis, Clint. Wise Guys: Stories of Mobsters from Jersey to Vegas. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2003. ISBN 978-1-56025-498-0
  15. ^ Jones, Abigail (April 8, 2015). "In Orthodox Jewish Divorce, Men Hold All the Cards". Newsweek. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  16. ^ Fox, Stephen. Blood and Power: Organized Crime in Twentieth Century America. New York: Penguin Books, 1989.

Further readingEdit

  • Block, Alan A. Lepke, Kid Twist, and the Combination: Organized Crime in New York City, 1930–1944. 1976.
  • Cohan, Hillary. Growing Up Jewish In The Mob. 2013. ISBN 9781491055229
  • Sadowsky, Sandy. Wedded to Crime: My Life in the Jewish Mafia. 1992.

External linksEdit