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Meyer Lansky
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    (July 4, 1902-May 15, 1983)
    Birth name is Majer Suchowliski
    Emigrated to the United States and settled in New York (1911)
    Died of lung cancer in Miami Beach, Florida
    Left behind a fortune of $400 million
    He was short, especially for being a gangster.
    He was childhood friends with Lucky Luciano.
    He and Luciano knew each other so well that they were able to finish each other's sentences.
    He used Bugsy Siegel and others to do most of his hits.
    He was the driver in many of Siegel's drive-by shootings.
    He profited in all forms of illegal activities.
    He paid Huey Long $4 million annually to run casinos in Louisiana.
    His connections to Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista turned Cuba into a Mafia paradise of racketeering, casinos, prostitution and drug smuggling.
    He fled to Israel when income tax evasion charges were brought against him, but was arrested there and deported back to the United States.
    He was then acquitted, most likely due to his political connections.
    He avoided hard jail time and prosecution most of his life.
    He once said that he 'never got on his hands and knees for any Christian.'
    Though Lucky Luciano was the boss, he often made more money.
    Many consider him to be the financial genius behind the Mafia.
    He was a rare mild-mannered, low-profile gangster.
    He was loyal to his friends and tried to get the hit on Bugsy Siegel removed, but he was overruled.
    He was a Jew who managed to make it to the upper strata of an Italian-based crime syndicate.
    Despite not having any official voting power, his word was often followed because it paid off.
    An FBI agent once said about him, 'He would have been chairman of the board of General Motors if he'd gone into legitimate business.'
    He was a frequent contributor to his local public television station.
    The character of 'Hymen Roth' in 'The Godfather Part II' is based on Lansky.

Credit: Captain Howdy

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