The Real People of Boardwalk Empire: Part 5 – Mae Coughlin Capone to Owney Madden

boardwalk-empire-gambling

As I may have said before, before states in the Mid Atlantic started to legalize gambling and build casinos of their own in recent times, Atlantic City was renown as the Las Vegas of the Eastern Seaboard before Las Vegas with its share of casinos and gambling establishments. It was also the city that served as a model for the Parker Brothers’ game of Monopoly but that will come out during the Great Depression but it’s no coincidence why some of the areas in that city seem to remind you of it. Nevertheless, Atlantic City also began the Miss America beauty pageant which started as a way to get more tourists to their resort boom town, but has become a national beauty contest owned by Donald Trump (and whatever he has on his hair). Still, during Prohibition, it was famous for ignoring Prohibition thanks to the efforts of one Nucky Johnson who’s the inspiration for the Steve Buscemi character on Boardwalk Empire. Yet, we’ve come to the final installment but we still have more people to go over. In this final selection, we’ll look at some historical wives to famous figures like Mae Capone, First Lady Florence Harding, and Katherine Bader. We’ll also meet Al Capone’s mother Theresina and Warren G. Harding’s alleged daughter Elizabeth Ann Blaesing. Yet, we’ll also see investigators William Frank and Eliot Ness as well as Nucky Johnson’s servant Louis Kessel. And then we have famous horse trainer Max Hirsch, boxing manager Jack “Doc” Kearns, and possible Billie Kent inspiration Dorothy “Dot” King. Finally, we’ll meet gangsters Salvatore Maranzano and Owney Madden. So without further adieu, enjoy this final installment of the real people seen from Boardwalk Empire.

53. Mae Coughlin Capone (1897-1986)

Mae Capone was Al Capone's beautiful wife and mother to his son. Yet, since she was a private person, there's very little else that's known about her. Still, Al knew how to pick em' didn't he?

Mae Capone was Al Capone’s beautiful wife and mother to his son. Yet, since she was a private person, there’s very little else that’s known about her. Still, Al knew how to pick em’ didn’t he?

Known in Life as: Al Capone’s wife.
Character or Inspiration? She’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Well, she was Irish.
Differences: Born in New York and married to Al since she was 21 three weeks after their son was born. Had syphilis. Was an ardent churchgoer. Stuck with Al until the end and was reputed to be beautiful. Still, despite her husband’s infamy as perhaps the most famous American gangster who ever lived, there’s surprisingly little about her.
Ultimate Fate: Died in Miami in 1986 at 89.

54. Max Hirsch (1880-1969)
Known in Life as: American Hall of Fame Thoroughbred horse trainer. One of the most successful in history. His horses gave him 3 wins in the Kentucky Derby, 2 wins in the Preakness Stakes, and 4 wins in the Belmont Stakes. Also, trained the 1946 Triple Crown winner Bold Venture.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Well, he did condition horses for various clients but I’m not sure if Rothstein was one of them.
Differences: Born in Texas and spent his early years as a groom and jockey at the Morris Ranch. Married with at least one son named Buddy who also followed in his footsteps.
Ultimate Fate: Died in Long Island, New York in 1969 at 88.

55. Florence Harding (1860-1924)

Though we're not sure whether she was called

Though we’re not sure whether she was called “Flossie” we’re pretty sure that if Florence Harding ever had anything to do with her husband’s death it had more to do with trusting the wrong doctor than anything. I mean you shouldn’t trust homeopaths for their pseudoscientific quacks.

Known in Life as: Wife of President Warren G. Harding and First Lady of the United States from 1921-1923. Known as the brains behind her husband’s newspaper business, called “The Duchess,” and was said to give notably elegant parties.
Character or Inspiration? She’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Well, she had gray hair and glasses. Also actually consulted a fortune teller who said that her husband would become President but die in office.
Differences: Was married twice and had a son with her first husband who she divorced on grounds for gross neglect. May or may not have been called “Flossie.” Once studied to be a concert pianist and worked as a piano teacher. Helped Warren run his newspaper business where she organized circulation, improved distribution, trained newsboys, purchased equipment at keen prices, and installed the first local wire service. She also managed her husband’s finances, social life, and public image. Said to have a strong influence in Warren’s administration and held outspoken political views. Her great cause was championing the welfare of war veterans and served alcohol to guests. Though alleged by Gaston Means that she killed her husband, it’s highly unlikely though she did destroy many of his papers.
Ultimate Fate: Died of renal failure after her last public appearance on Veteran’s Day in 1924. She was 64.

56. Teresina Raiola Capone (1867-1952)

Theresina Capone with her grandson Albert Francis. I guess while she didn't seem to like her son's gangster interests, she didn't seem to disown him.

Theresina Capone with her grandson Albert Francis. I guess while she didn’t seem to like her son’s gangster interests, she didn’t seem to disown him.

Known in Life as: Al Capone’s mother.
Character or Inspiration? She’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Well, she’s Italian though I’m not sure if she went to Chicago.
Differences: Born in Naples and was a seamstress before marrying barber Gabriel Capone. Had 10 children. Came to the US in 1893.
Ultimate Fate: Died in 1952 at 85.

57. Katherine Holvick Bader (1878-1969)
Known in Life as: Edward L. Bader’s wife.
Character or Inspiration? She’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Well, she did attend dinners with her husband.
Differences: Married with 4 kids. Still, there’s really not much about her.
Ultimate Fate: Died in Atlantic City in 1969 at 91.

58. Jack “Doc” Kearns (1882-1963)

Jack

Jack “Doc” Kearns was a world renown boxing manager most famous for overseeing the career of Jack Dempsey. Still, there may be details in his autobiography that might be rather sketchy.

Known in Life as: World renowned boxing trainer and manager for Jack Dempsey during the 1920s. Also trained Mickey Walker, Joe Maxim, and Archie Moore.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Trained Jack Dempsey around the time of his upcoming fight against Georges Carpentier. May have been corrupt.
Differences: Hailed from the state of Washington and wrote his autobiography called The Million Dollar Gate that was published posthumously in 1966. Quit school at 14 and stowed away on a freighter to Alaska to stake a claim in the Klondike Gold Rush. Said he worked as a dognapper and helped smuggle Chinese laborers. Was a boxer himself in 1900 and said to take part in 60 bouts. Operated a boxing club and bar in Spokane for a time. Remained an active fight manager until his death.
Ultimate Fate: Died in 1963 at 81.

59. Salvatore Maranzano (1886-1931)

Salvatore Maranzano may look rather sharp but this is perhaps the only picture I could find him alive. Other photos depict him as brutally shot up and they're not pretty. Still, let's just say he'd start a gang war and be killed by Luciano.

Salvatore Maranzano may look rather sharp but this is perhaps the only picture I could find him alive. Other photos depict him as brutally shot up and they’re not pretty. Still, let’s just say he’d start a gang war and be killed by Luciano.

Known in Life as: Early Costa Nostra boss in the US who instigated the Castellammarese War to seize control of American Mafia operations and briefly became the Mafia’s “Bosses of Bosses.”
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Was in direct competition with Masseria.
Differences: Born in Italy and once studied to be a priest yet immigrated to Brooklyn in 1919 on a Sicilian mob boss’ orders. Had a commanding presence as well as greatly respected his underworld peers. Was fascinated with Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire as well as loved discussing these subjects with his less-educated American counterparts. Though he was a legitimate real estate broker, he also had businesses in bootlegging, prostitution, and illegal narcotics smuggling. Divided his organization into squads with each soldier pledging loyalty to his squad leader.
Ultimate Fate: Shot and stabbed by 4 hitmen posing as accountants in New York on Luciano’s orders in 1931. Still, he already hired someone to kill Luciano. After his murder, Luciano abolished the “Boss of Bosses” title and his organization would become the Bonnano Crime Family since it was given to Joseph Bonnano.

60. William Frank
Known in Life as: A lawyer who led a joint IRS and FBI task force to take down Nucky Johnson.
Character or Inspiration? Inspiration for Nelson Van Alden which is rather loosely based.
Similarities: Well, they did lead an operation to take down a corrupt political boss making money on illegal activities.
Differences: His operation to take Nucky Johnson down wasn’t until 1936, which was 3 years after Prohibition. Also, he probably wasn’t a religious fanatic (if so, then he perhaps wasn’t as batshit crazy as Van Alden) and was rather successful at getting his man.
Ultimate Fate: Don’t really know what happened to him.

61. Eliot Ness (1903-1957)

I think Eliot Ness is one of the more overrated people in history mainly because his actions during Prohibition make a rather good story despite that he didn't take down Al Capone. Also, he was a womanizer and a drunk.

I think Eliot Ness is one of the more overrated people in history mainly because his actions during Prohibition make a rather good story despite that he didn’t take down Al Capone. Also, he was a womanizer and a drunk.

Known in Life as: American Prohibition agent famous for his efforts to enforce the 18th Amendment in Chicago as well as leader of a legendary team of law enforcement agents known as the Untouchables (and no, they didn’t take down Al Capone. IRS agent Frank J. Wilson did).
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Well, he did publicly declare he’d take down Al Capone while still a Chicago Treasury agent (he didn’t in real life).
Differences: Born to Norwegian immigrants and attended the University of Chicago where he served as a member in Sigma Alpha Epsilon and graduated with an economics degree in 1925. Career as investigator began for the Retail Credit Company of Atlanta. Returned to college to earn a master’s degree in criminology. With his Untouchables, he staged raids against illegal stills and breweries and was said to have seized such facilities worth as much as a million bucks. Also used wiretapping. Had a close friend killed and survived assassination attempts. Was a womanizing drunk. Had one adopted son and was married 3 times (divorced twice).
Ultimate Fate: After Prohibition, his later years as a law enforcer would come to an end in the 1930s and his latter life consisted of two divorces, business failures, and alcoholism. Died of a heart attack in Coudersport, Pennsylvania at 54. ATF building is named after him.

62. Louis Kessel (1888-1944)

Louis Kessel was the inspiration for Boardwalk Empire's Eddie Kessler. A former cab driver, he worked as Nucky Johnson's valet, driver, and bodyguard and was called by his boss,

Louis Kessel was the inspiration for Boardwalk Empire’s Eddie Kessler. A former cab driver, he worked as Nucky Johnson’s valet, driver, and bodyguard and was called by his boss, “the most loyal man I ever knew.” If there was one thing, Nucky Johnson regretted in his life, it was not attending Kessel’s funeral (due to being incarcerated for tax evasion).

Known in Life as: Former cab driver and personal servant to Nucky Johnson at his Ritz-Carlton residence in Atlantic City. Johnson called him, “the most loyal man I ever knew.”
Character or Inspiration? Inspiration for Eddie Kessler.
Similarities: Well, he was German (despite being born in Russia). Also served as chauffer and bodyguard, too.
Differences: Born in Russia and was 42 in 1920. Was of stockier build than Anthony Laicura but had a similar appearance otherwise. Smoked a pipe. Stood 5’5” and weighed 260 lbs. Before he became a cab driver he was a wrestler and bartender. Could easily break down a door. Woke his boss every day at 3:00 pm and gave him a vigorous massage with wintergreen oil, answered his calls, and prepared him of the day. Was arrested in a prostitution sting. Had a wife and kids though (his granddaughter is still alive). Visited his boss in prison a few times a week with Johnson’s second wife Florence.
Ultimate Fate: Died in a broadsided limo accident during a drive to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to see his incarcerated boss. He was 56. Nucky Johnson was upset that he couldn’t go to the funeral, and not being there haunted him for decades. Still, his boss would write a moving tribute for him.

63. Elizabeth Ann Blaesing (1919-2005)

Young Elizabeth Blaesing with her mother Nan Britton. Though alleged to be Warren G. Harding's daughter, I don't think she bears any resemblance to the President. Still, Harding was known to be philanderer but might've been sterile.

Young Elizabeth Blaesing with her mother Nan Britton. Though alleged to be Warren G. Harding’s daughter, I don’t think she bears any resemblance to the President. Still, Harding was known to be philanderer but might’ve been sterile.

Known in Life as: Alleged daughter of Warren Harding by alleged mistress Nan Britton. Her claims were never conclusively proven.
Character or Inspiration? She’s a character on the show though she won’t be known by her surname Blaesing until after she was married. Yet, since we don’t know who her father is and went by different surnames prior to her marriage, we’ll just use her maiden name.
Similarities: Well, she was definitely Nan Britton’s daughter. And Warren G. Harding’s according to DNA tests.
Differences: Born in New Jersey and lived in multiple states. Married and had at least one son. Said that Warren G. Harding was her father but has refused interviews or a DNA test (not anymore).
Ultimate Fate: Died in Oregon in 2005. She was 86.

64. Dorothy “Dot” King (1896-1923)

Dorothy

Dorothy “Dot” King was a former showgirl, model, and actress who was famously found murdered in her New York apartment in a building owned by Arnold Rothstein. Still, compared to Billie Kent, she was no saint.

Known in Life as: Ziegfield Follies chorus showgirl who lived in an apartment owned by Arnold Rothstein found famously murdered in 1923.
Character or Inspiration? Likely inspiration for Billie Kent though rather loosely.
Similarities: Well, they do have a similar taste in certain infamous men like sugar daddies, playboys, top-hatted stage-door Johnnies, and Just Plain Gigolo. Both were said to have diamonds, furs, and a bachelor girl apartment in New York.
Differences: Daughter of Irish immigrants. She wasn’t the loyal mistress Billie was to Nucky on the show (who had a sugar daddy but also a Puerto Rican con man lover) and was actually in her late 20s. Also wasn’t blown up in a nightclub. Was married once to a chauffeur but he divorced her after catching her cheating on him. Appeared in only one Broadway production for 105 performances in 1920 and worked in modeling. Yet, left both to make a living as an honest to goodness vamp who had affairs with string of wealthy and powerful men.
Ultimate Fate: Murdered in her yellow silk pajamas in her New York City apartment in 1923. She was 27. Some of her jewelry was missing from the scene as well. Killing remains unsolved and no one was tried.

65. Owney Madden (1891-1965)

Owney Madden may not look like much and may have spoken in a Yorkshire accent like you hear on Downton Abbey. Yet, he was a notorious gangster who had future movie star George Raft as his personal driver (yes, that George Raft if you know who he was. Well, if you don't, he's the head gangster in Some Like It Hot, which you should watch).

Owney Madden may not look like much and may have spoken in a Yorkshire accent like you hear on Downton Abbey. Yet, he was a notorious gangster who had future movie star George Raft as his personal driver (yes, that George Raft if you know who he was. Well, if you don’t, he’s the head gangster in Some Like It Hot, which you should watch).

Known in Life as: Leading underworld figure during Prohibition in New York, most notable for his involvement in organized crime, running the famous Cotton Club, and being a leading boxing promoter in the 1930s.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Spoke in a Northern English accent.
Differences: Born in England to Irish parents. Came to US in early 1900s and was a member of New York’s Gopher Gang where he got a notorious reputation as a fighter and killer. Lead pipe and gun were his signature weapons. Enjoyed an opulent lifestyle and was often accompanied by several women. Yet was known for his violent jealousy and shot a store clerk who asked one of his girls out while boarding a trolley. Despite several witnesses, the case was dismissed. Yet, was eventually sent to Sing Sing for 20 years for his violent behavior but only served 9. Found the Gopher Gang broke up at his 1923 release so went to be a muscle for a friend’s cab business and started running Canadian whiskey to New York. Onetime personal driver would be future movie star George Raft (I’m not making this up).
Ultimate Fate: After being responsible for the killing of Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll and being arrested for a parole violation in 1932, he would soon leave New York in 1935. Settled in Hot Springs, Arkansas where he opened the Southern Club where Luciano was arrested as well as became involved with other criminal activities like illegal gambling. Became a US citizen in 1943 and married the city postmaster’s daughter. Gave up his British passport when threatened with deportation in the 1950s. Died of emphysema in 1965 at 73.

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The Real People of Boardwalk Empire: Part 4 – Nan Britton to Richard “Peg Leg” Lonergan

IF

Vaudeville was one of the dominant forms of variety show entertainment from the 1880s to the early 1930s, which was very popular in the United States and Canada during the 1920s. A typical performance was made up of a series of unrelated acts groups together on a common bill. Acts could consist of popular and classical musicians, singers, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, male and female drag shows, acrobats, illustrated songs, jugglers, one-act scenes from plays, athletes, lecturing celebrities, minstrels (hopefully not to a black audience), and even movies. This kind of entertainment developed from many sources including the concert saloon, minstrelsy (unfortunately), freak shows, dime museums, and literary American burlesque. It’s no wonder it’s called “the heart of American show business,” since it brought us people like Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges, Eddie Cantor, Buster Keaton, Mae West, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Abbot and Costello, Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Sammy Davis Jr., Jack Benny, and George Burns. Still, it’s a dominant form of entertainment in Boardwalk Empire filled with many showgirls that all the gangsters can screw. Nevertheless, in this selection, we’ll meet political figures like President Warren G. Harding, Irish revolutionary and politician Eamon De Valera, New Jersey Governor Edward I. Edwards, and Atlantic City Mayor Harry Bacharach. We’ll also be introduced to Al Capone’s son Albert Francis, alleged Harding mistress Nan Britton, Arnold Rothstein’s wife Carolyn, ragtime composer James Scott, and famous criminal defense lawyer William J. Fallon. And of course, Boardwalk Empire won’t be without the gangsters in which we have in this selection Big Jim Colosimo (the mustachioned guy who was killed in the pilot), Chicago Outfit adviser and Capone Associate Jake Guzik, as well as White Hand leaders “Wild Bill” Lovett and “Peg Leg” Lonergan. So without further adieu, here are some more real life historical figures from the world of the Emmy-winning Boardwalk Empire.

40. Nan Britton (1896-1991)

Nan Britton may or may not have been Warren Harding's babymama but she did cause a sensation with her 1927 book alleging that. Still, I wonder how she got the fur stole.

Nan Britton may or may not have been Warren Harding’s babymama but she did cause a sensation with her 1927 book alleging that. Still, I wonder how she got the fur stole.

Known in Life as: Associated with the Warren G. Harding Presidency because she publicly claimed in a tell-all book in 1928 that Harding had fathered her illegitimate daughter shortly before his election as president in 1920.
Character or Inspiration? She’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Was infatuated with Harding since she was a teenager and before he started his political career (who was a friend of her dad). Also, had his love child according to DNA evidence.
Differences: Was about 24 in 1920 and worked as a secretary in New York City. Had her daughter in 1919. Also, despite that she claimed that Harding fathered her daughter, Elizabeth Ann, there’s little concrete evidence that an affair between them ever took place and might’ve just existed in her head (save maybe an occasional hook up prior to his presidency). If so, then we’re sure that Harding wasn’t her baby daddy because he was said to be sterile (though DNA evidence has rebuked this). Also wasn’t hidden away until the 1920 election to avoid political scandal because that honor went to a woman who was Harding’s mistress but for very different reasons.
Ultimate Fate: Died in Oregon of natural causes in 1991 at 94.

41. Eamon De Valera (1882-1975)

John McGarrigle may not be a surrogate for Eamon De Valera but he did share a lot of his personality and wore glasses. Nevertheless, Valera would be a dominant figure in Ireland during the 20th century until his death in 1975.

John McGarrigle may not be a surrogate for Eamon De Valera but he did share a lot of his personality and wore glasses. Nevertheless, Valera would be a dominant figure in Ireland during the 20th century until his death in 1975.

Known in Life as: One of the dominant figures of early 20th century Ireland whose political career spanned from 1917-1973 with roles from revolutionary to several terms as head of state and government. Led the introduction of the Constitution of Ireland. Was in Sinn Fein and founded Fianna Fail. Political creed evolved from militant republicanism to cultural conservatism.
Character or Inspiration? Inspiration for John McGarrigle (though not necessarily a stand-in but close).
Similarities: Well, they had similar appearances and personality. Both fund-raised for the IRA in the US.
Differences: Born in New York to a Cuban father. Was a devout Catholic man who once considered becoming a priest yet might’ve prevented doing so because of his possible illegitimate birth (out of wedlock children couldn’t enter into the secular or diocesan priesthood at the time, though he could’ve been a priest of a religious order {like Erasmus}. Still, his half-brother was a priest though). Happily married for 65 years and fathered 7 kids. Was a math professor before getting involved in Irish politics. Was never assassinated unlike McGarrigle.
Ultimate Fate: Died in Dublin of natural causes in 1975 at 92. Body lay in Dublin Castle and was given a full funeral at St. Mary Pro-Cathedral, which was broadcast on national television.

42. Warren G. Harding (1865-1923)

Warren G. Harding did make a dandy looking president in the early 1920s. Too bad that he was a horrible judge of character that Teapot Dome happened.

Warren G. Harding did make a dandy looking president in the early 1920s. Too bad that he was a horrible judge of character that Teapot Dome happened.

Known in Life as: 29th President of the United States from 1921-1923. Republican from Ohio who served in the state and US Senate but was nominated on the ballot for being an inoffensive compromise candidate and used advertising experts to publicize his presidential appearance and conservative promises like “a return to normalcy,” an end to violence and radicalism, a strong economy, and independence from European intrigues. Though appointed great minds in his cabinet like Andrew Mellon for Treasury, Herbert Hoover for Commerce, and Charles Evans Hughes for State, he also rewarded friends and contributors with powerful positions who were known as the Ohio Gang. Presidency was famous for multiple cases of corruption exposed both during and after his death, including the notorious Teapot Dome scandal which was “greatest and most sensational scandal in the history of American politics” before Watergate. Seen as one of the worst US Presidents, despite setting up what would eventually become the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Well, he was a womanizer and frequently cheated on his wife. Had to have a mistress hidden away during his 1920 presidential campaign. And had a love child out of wedlock to Nan Britton according to DNA evidence. But both these things didn’t apply to the same woman.
Differences: Born and spent most of his life in Ohio as well as owned a newspaper. Actual mistress who was to be hidden away wasn’t Nan Britton, but his mistress of 15 years Carrie Fulton Phillips (who he certainly did have an affair with since there are 1,000 pages of intimate letters between them which may be available online), a wife of a department store owner and a close friend. Yet, she was hidden away due to her vocal support for Germany during WWI and was deliberately blackmailed by the Republican Party with an all-expense paid vacation to East Asia. Also said to be linked to two of his wife’s friends named Susan Hodder and Grace Cross. Heavy drinker and gambler. Still, wasn’t as much a crook and more like a bad judge of character.
Ultimate Fate: Died in office under mysterious circumstances in San Francisco in 1923 at 58 (Mrs. Harding refused an autopsy. Still, even if Flossie didn’t poison her husband {and it’s highly unlikely she did}, we’re not sure what killed him. He was officially said to succumb to apoplexy and recently had a heart attack as well as food poisoning {from seafood} that led to pneumonia in Alaska but it may have been stroke, congestive heart failure, food poisoning, or heart attack. It’s also widely believed that Harding might’ve been a victim of medical malpractice since the doctor treating him when he died was a homeopath {a field of medicine that’s now considered a pseudoscience}.)

43. James “Big Jim” Colosimo (1878-1920)

Big Jim Colosimo with his lawyer. Notice that he used to wear that white suit to lure women into his prostitution cathouses. Still, you probably remember him for getting killed in the Boardwalk Empire pilot.

Big Jim Colosimo with his lawyer. Notice that he used to wear that white suit to lure women into his prostitution cathouses. Still, you probably remember him for getting killed in the Boardwalk Empire pilot.

Known in Life as: Italian American Mafia crime boss who built a criminal empire in Chicago based on prostitution, gambling, and racketeering. From 1902-1920 would lead a gang that would be known after his death as the Chicago Outfit.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Was actually a big guy with a mustache. Refused to invest in the alcohol business when Prohibition came around. Had a restaurant and night club called Colosimo’s Café (where Al Capone would work as a bouncer). Was killed in 1920 (but in May not January as in the pilot).
Differences: Born in Italy and immigrated to Chicago in 1895. Recruited Johnny Torrio from Brooklyn and made him his second in command (this would prove to be a very big mistake). Married twice and divorced once (to Torrio’s aunt whom he deserted). Frequently dressed in a white suit as well as wore diamond pins, rings, and other jewelry.
Ultimate Fate: Shot and killed in his café in Chicago in 1920 at 42. Though Torrio is the most likely suspect responsible (who may have hired Frankie Yale to do the deed), no one was ever arrested for it.

44. Albert Francis “Sonny “Capone (1918-2004)

Sonny Capone on one of his wedding days, I think. Still, basically rebelled against his dad by going to college, getting a legitimate job, and not breaking the law.

Sonny Capone on one of his wedding days, I think. Still, basically rebelled against his dad by going to college, getting a legitimate job, and not breaking the law.

Known in Life as: Al Capone’s son.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Well, he was a kid at the time (well, he was 2 in 1920). And he did have hearing problems.
Differences: Wasn’t born deaf and only went partially deaf at age 7 (due to being born with congenital syphilis and experiencing a serious mastoid infection that required brain surgery). Went to high school with Desi Arnaz Sr. from I Love Lucy and attended the University of Miami. Married 3 times and fathered at least 4 daughters. Changed his name to Albert Francis Brown in 1966 in order to distance himself from his notorious dad.
Ultimate Fate: Died in Florida of natural causes at 85 in 2004, after a lifetime as an upstanding citizen with no mob ties (except in genetics). At least a few of his daughters are still alive.

45. Jake Guzik (1886-1956)

Yes, this is a picture of Guzik from 1946 but it was one the few good ones I could find. Still, you didn't want to beat him up or his buddy Al Capone would show his famous violent tendencies in your direction.

Yes, this is a picture of Guzik from 1946 but it was one the few good ones I could find. Still, you didn’t want to beat him up or his buddy Al Capone would show his famous violent tendencies in your direction.

Known in Life as: Jewish American financial and legal advisor as well as political “greaser” for the Chicago Outfit. Had a great relationship with Al Capone.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Was involved in prostitution and protected by Al Capone (hurting him was a quick way to get Al to practically murder you).
Differences: Born in Krakow, Poland and came to the US in the early 20th century. Was incapable of using a gun or killing anyone. Served as principal bagman in payoffs to Chicago police and politicians. Capone actually came to trust and rely on his advice as well as told him to make sure his wife and kid were provided for when his health failed.
Ultimate Fate: He would also go on to work for Paul “the Waiter” Ricca and Tony Accardo. Spent a few years in prison for tax evasion. Died of a myocardial infraction in 1956 at 69. Funeral was said to put more Italians in a synagogue than ever before in history.

46. Carolyn Greene Rothstein (1888-?)

Carolyn Rothstein wasn't too happy with her husband Arnold's life choices but she stuck with him until his 1928 murder. I mean she had to put up with his gambling, stealing, marital infidelities, and having people killed.

Carolyn Rothstein wasn’t too happy with her husband Arnold’s life choices but she stuck with him until his 1928 murder. I mean she had to put up with his gambling, stealing, marital infidelities, and having people killed. Ladies, if you want to know what it’s like being a gangster’s wife, you might want to read her book if available.

Known in Life as: Arnold Rothstein’s wife.
Character or Inspiration? She’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Well, she was blond.
Differences: Was a New York showgirl before meeting her husband who interrogated her coworkers and friends after four dates. Was Irish Catholic (as well as half-Jewish) and married Arnold at 21 though he pawned all her jewelry for cash (he got it back after winning $12,000). Though remained married to Arnold until his murder, she didn’t like him being a New York gang boss and gambler. Also put up with his cheating, stealing, and killing.
Ultimate Fate: Wrote a book about her life with her husband after his murder called Now I’ll Tell You that was published in 1934. Well, she didn’t died rich if she survived Arnold by more than 10 years.

47. William J. Fallon (1886-1927)

William J. Fallon was a noted criminal defense attorney who has become the archetype of all sleazy lawyers everywhere. Still, you have to give him credit for him never losing a case pertaining to murder.

William J. Fallon was a noted criminal defense attorney who has become the archetype of all sleazy lawyers everywhere. Still, you have to give him credit for him never losing a case pertaining to murder.

Known in Life as: Criminal defense attorney in New York City who represented the city’s leading pimps, illegal narcotics dealers, embezzlers, and operators. Inspiration for Billy Flynn of Chicago as well as the archetype for the amoral criminal defense lawyer.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Well, he was known to defend a lot of famous morally dubious people. Also represented Arnold Rothstein.
Differences: Son of Irish immigrants. Graduated at the top of his class at Fordham University. Was in the New York State Assembly and was charged in 1924 for bribing a juror but acquitted. Called, “The Great Mouthpiece.” Said to be talented, vain, and flamboyant as well as drank a lot. Was very smart and eloquent but also immoral, dishonest, and self-indulgent. His 120 homicide defendants were never convicted. Married with two daughters. Wore exquisitely tailored suites, had the finest silk ties, and donned no shirt more than once. Yet, left his cobbler made shoes unshined.
Ultimate Fate: Died of heart disease at the Hotel Oxford in 1927 at 40.

48. William “Wild Bill” Lovett (1894-1923)

Yes, he may have an unremarkable appearance, but he's the famous White Hand leader known as Wild Bill Lovett who made money through dockside extortion as well had alcoholic rages that were the stuff of legend. Was shot up dead on Halloween night.

Yes, he may have an unremarkable appearance, but he’s the famous White Hand leader known as Wild Bill Lovett who made money through dockside extortion as well had alcoholic rages that were the stuff of legend. Was shot up dead on Halloween night.

Known in Life as: Irish American gangster in early 20th century New York.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Leader of the White Hand Gang and worked with “Peg Leg” Lonergan.
Differences: Spent his childhood as a juvenile delinquent in various gangs. Served in WWI and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery. Though well-educated and articulate, was a temperamental alcoholic who made even his own men nervous. Took control of the waterfront rackets after the death of White Hand Gang leader Dinny Meehan (and was believed to have killed him). Income came from dockside extortion, burglary and other crimes. Survived a few assassination attempts such as a stabbing and 3 shots to the chest.
Ultimate Fate: Upon his 1923 marriage to Lonergan’s sister, he swore to give up criminal rackets and drinking. Turned power to his brother-in-law and was safe for 3 months, but was up to his old ways and his wife refused to take him back. Beaten and shot up near a store on Halloween night (most likely by Irish gangsters) after leaving a bar drunk. He was 29.

49. Edward I. Edwards (1863-1931)

Edward I. Edwards was governor of New Jersey during the early 1920s and US Senator from 1923-1929. Didn't have it so good after politics since he went broke and later killed himself. Nevertheless, he seems to be a rather distinguished man.

Edward I. Edwards was governor of New Jersey during the early 1920s and US Senator from 1923-1929. Didn’t have it so good after politics since he went broke and later killed himself. Nevertheless, he seems to be a rather distinguished man.

Known in Life as: Governor of New Jersey from 1920-1923 and US Senator from 1923-1929.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Frank Hague was one of his allies (they’d soon have a falling out).
Differences: Had dark hair even in the 1920s. Married with 2 kids. Studied law in his brother’s office and engaged in the banking and construction businesses. Went broke with the Wall Street crash of 1929 and was implicated in an election fraud scandal.
Ultimate Fate: Was diagnosed with skin cancer and shot himself in 1931. He was 67.

50. James Scott (1885-1938)

James Scott was one of the premiere African American ragtime composers in the early 20th century. A lot of his compositions were used as accompaniment in silent movies and his fortunes went in decline when talkies came around. Still, he has a rather nice hat and suit.

James Scott was one of the premiere African American ragtime composers in the early 20th century. A lot of his compositions were used as accompaniment in silent movies and his fortunes went in decline when talkies came around. Still, he has a rather nice hat and suit.

Known in Life as: African American ragtime composer. Regarded as one of the three most important composers of ragtime music along with Scott Joplin and Joseph Lamb.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Wearing a hat was a trademark of his.
Differences: Born in Missouri and son of former slaves. Worked in a music store in 1902 and wrote his first composition compilation in 1903. A lot of his pieces were used to accompany silent movies.
Ultimate Fate: After his wife died and the coming of sound in movies, his fortunes and health deteriorated. Published nothing after 1902. Died in Kansas City, Missouri in 1938 at 53.

51. Harry Bacharach (1873-1947)
Known in Life as: Mayor of Atlantic City for 6 months in 1912, from 1916-1920, and 1930-1935. Also served as city commissioner.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Well, he was mayor in 1920 but there’s not much on him.
Differences: Tried for election fraud in 1914 for the 1910 mayoral election. Had a Negro League Baseball team named after him called the Bacharach Giants. Him and brother Isaac founded the Betty Bacharach Home for Afflicted Children in honor of their mom in 1924 which cared for kids with polio.
Ultimate Fate: Died in Atlantic City in 1947 at 74.

52. Richard “Peg Leg” Lonegran (1900-1925)

Peg Leg Lonergan may have lost a leg in a trolley accident. Yet, he achieve distinction as the last boss of the White Hand Gang in New York as well as known to be a vicious street brawler and hater of Italians. Killed on Christmas 1925.

Peg Leg Lonergan may have lost a leg in a trolley accident. Yet, he achieve distinction as the last boss of the White Hand Gang in New York as well as known to be a vicious street brawler and hater of Italians. Killed on Christmas 1925.

Known in Life as: Irish American gangster, labor racketeer, and final leader of the White Hand Gang. Led a 2 year campaign against Frankie Yale over the New York waterfront.
Character or Inspiration? He’s a character on the show.
Similarities: Associated with the White Hand Gang and friend of Bill Lovett.
Differences: Was one 15 kids and son of a prizefighter and bare knuckle boxer named John Lonergan. Lost his right leg in a trolley car incident. Childhood friend of Bill Lovett. Believed to have been involved in at least a dozen murders during his career as well as had a reputation as a vicious street brawler. Said to hate Italians
Ultimate Fate: He and his 5 lieutenants were killed in South Brooklyn during a Christmas Day celebration at the Adonis Social Club in 1925. He was 25. Murder has been attributed to Capone but remains unsolved. White Hand Gang disappeared from the New York waterfront which allowed Frankie Yale and eventually the Five Families to take control.