The Untold Stories of the Gangsters Who Built The Early Las Vegas Strip

Felipe Gonzales June 14, 2015 0
The Untold Stories of the Gangsters Who Built The Early Las Vegas Strip

Based on years of research, Bill Friedman spent 48 years in Las Vegas hanging out with gangsters to study the history and operation of organized crime.

30 Illegal Years To The Strip is the inside story of Prohibition’s most powerful leaders, who later ran elegant, illegal casinos across America, before moving on to build the glamorous Las Vegas Strip gambling resorts.

Discover the untold stories of some of the world’s most infamous criminals. Bill Friedman, best selling author of several Las Vegas books, shines a light on some notorious criminals including:

  • Ben Siegel
  • Meyer Lansky
  • Charlie Luciano
  • Frank Costello
  • Joe Adonis
  • Al Capone
  • John Torrio
  • Frank Nitti

An illegal and dangerous business, prohibition was a tubulent time on the Unisted States. The seven largest bootleggers used traditional business values and rejected the key tools of organized crime – monopoly, violence, and vendetta. This made them the most unlikely gangsters to rise to underworld leadership.

Many of the seven crime leaders became powerful world political kingmakers. Allied with them in New York City politics was Arnold Rothstein, the ultimate gambler. His murder is one of several major gangland killings finally solved here.

The biggest-drawing entertainer in these gang leaders’ illegal-casino and Strip-resort showrooms was comedian Joe E. Lewis. He single-highhandedly saved the Copacabana from bankruptcy and turned it into America’s most famous and glamorous nightclub.

The careers and relationships of the gang leaders, who together would go on to build the Las Vegas Strip, are presented for the first time in this thoroughly documented, in-depth, authentic history of how organized crime developed.

Listen to this in-depth conversation with the legendary Bill Friedman as he describes those tumultuous years with Howard Schwartz.

Listen Now

The book is available now at the Gamblers Book Club and Gamblers General Store.

30 illegal years to the strip

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