Waxey Gordon’s Half Century of Crime

Oct 14, 2009 - by Allan May - 0 Comments

Waxey Gordon

Waxey Gordon

Waxey Gordon led a life of crime during a very long life. Busted for pickpocketing at age 18, he became a major East Coast bootlegger during Prohibition and the head of a heroin ring following World War II when he was in his 60s. He was the one Jewish gangster who seriously rivaled Meyer Lansky, who became his bitter enemy.
by Allan May

Waxey Gordon led a life of crime during a very long life. Busted for pickpocketing at age 18, he became a major East Coast bootlegger during Prohibition and the head of a heroin ring following World War II when he was in his 60s.

Along the way he crossed paths with Thomas E. Dewey, a promising young assistant U.S. attorney who got his first exposure to the limelight by sending Gordon to prison in 1933 on income-tax evasion charges. Neither prison sentences nor the shame he brought to his wife and son could cure or deter him.

The judge who sentenced him for the last time depicted his life of crime as a "malignant cancer" on society. When he died of a massive heart attack in Alcatraz in 1952, the 66-year-old was facing new federal charges for heading a coast-to-coast drug ring.

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