Sidney Roy Korshak (June 6, 1907 – January 20, 1996) was a lawyer and "fixer" for businessmen in the upper echelons of power and the Chicago Outfit in the United States. His reputation as the Chicago mob's man in Los Angeles made him one of Hollywood's most fabled and influential fixers. His partnership with Chicago mobsters led him to be named "...the most powerful lawyer in the world" by the FBI.
|Born||June 6, 1907|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||January 20, 1996 (aged 88)|
|Resting place||Hillside Memorial Park|
|Education||Herzl Elementary School|
|Alma mater||University of Wisconsin–Madison|
DePaul University College of Law
Sidney was born into a Jewish family, with four siblings, in Chicago's West Side Lawndale neighborhood, on June 6, 1907. His parents were Harry Korshak (1876–1931) and Rebecca Beatrice Lash (Lashkovitz, Laskowitz) (1883–1963), who were married on July 15, 1902 in Chicago. Sidney's father Harry was a wealthy Chicago contractor. Sidney's younger brother Morris Jerome "Marshall" Korshak (1910–1996) became a longtime Chicago politician, city treasurer and state senator. Sidney attended Herzl Elementary School, the University of Wisconsin–Madison and obtained his law degree from the DePaul University College of Law.
Sidney's law practice brought him into contact with many mobsters, such as Al Capone,Frank Nitti, Sam Giancana, Tony Accardo and Moe Dalitz. His services were used by the upper ranks of both legitimate and illegitimate business in the United States.
Korshak numbered among his friends many Hollywood celebrities and leading figures in the entertainment industry, including MCA/Universal chiefs Jules C. Stein and Lew Wasserman, entertainment lawyer Paul Ziffren (the driving force behind bringing the 1984 Olympics to Los Angeles), MGM chief Kirk Kerkorian, Gulf+Western founder Charles Bluhdorn, Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, William French Smith (labor attorney and future United States Attorney General), California governor Edmund "Pat" Brown and his son, California governor Edmund "Jerry" Brown, future Governor of California Gray Davis, producer Robert Evans, Warren Beatty, Barron Hilton and Hugh Hefner.
Korshak was highly successful in the field of labor consulting and negotiations, and his client list included Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, MGM, Playboy, MCA/Universal, and Diner's Club. One of his clients was Jimmy Hoffa, notorious head of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Korshak was heavily involved in the Teamsters' west coast operations during a time when organized labor was at the peak of its activity.
Korshak was an attorney for various elements of the Chicago Outfit. Korshak bought the J.P. Seeburg Corporation and immediately before the company stock rose from $35 to $141.50 a share. He then sold 143,000 shares to pivotal figures in the stock market including Bernard Cornfield, who owned the FOF Property Fund, in Switzerland. Korshak received $5 million from the deal.
Sidney Korshak married Bernice Stewart (born 1920) sometime in the mid-1940s, and they had three children, Harry Stuart Korshak (born 1945), Stuart R. Korshak (born 1947), and Katherine "Katy" Korshak. The Korshaks' primary residence was a mansion in Beverly Hills, California for many years, with a secondary home in Palm Springs, California.
Sidney Korshak died on January 20, 1996, without ever having a criminal conviction against him (or even an indictment, according to his New York Times obituary). He was buried at the Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California. Marshall Korshak predeceased his brother by one day.
- Sidney Korshak, 88, Dies; Fabled Fixer for the Chicago Mob, The New York Times, January 22, 1996
- Harry Korshak (January 15, 1876 – January 29, 1931)
- Rebecca Beatrice Lashkovitz (1883 – November 4, 1963)
- Morris Jerome "Marshall" Korshak (February 6, 1910 – January 19, 1996)
- "Mafia Jews..." Lisa Keys, The Jewish Daily Forward, 27 Oct 2006
- Bernice "Bee" Stewart - According to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Bernice was born in 1920 in Alamo, Lincoln County, Nevada (see household of Omer A. Stewart). Her parents were Omer Averett Stewart (May 31, 1884 - June 26, 1957) and Ethel Irene Grainger (August 23, 1887 - January 1983). Some sources claim that Bernice Stewart Korshak is the same person as Bernice Korchek (October 4, 1919 - March 17, 2006), but this claim is not correct. Research has confirmed that Sidney Korshak's widow Bernice Stewart Korshak is still living, and that she is currently (in 2015) 95 years old.
- Harry Stuart Korshak (born April 24, 1945) - He married Victoria Olson (Schmidlapp) Frederickson (born 1951) on May 2, 1975 in Los Angeles. Victoria had previously married Harry Gray Frederickson, Jr. on April 1, 1970 in Palm Beach, Florida.
- Stuart R. Korshak (born March 6, 1947) - He married Louise A. Hendricks on April 19, 1980 in Los Angeles.
- Kiss Kiss Bang! Bang!: The Unofficial James Bond Film Companion, by Alan Barnes & Marcus Hearn, Batsford, 2003 ISBN 0-7134-8645-7