Meyer Lansky Did Unthinkable: He Kept a Diary

Nicknamed the "Mob's Accountant" by the press, Lansky was instrumental in the development of the mob's gambling rackets in Las Vegas and Cuba
Meyer Lansky and his wife, Teddy; photo taken in Havana, Cuba. 

Meyer Lansky kept a written record of some events -- he kept a diary, as Rick Porrello's AmericanMafia.com reported.

Lanksy, who was there at the dawn of organized crime in America and was known for his razor-sharp business and street acumen, was the one most likely to have kept such a document. Throughout his life, he spoke of the importance of a good education, not something that Lanky friends and partners such as Lucky Luciano or Bugsy Siegel are known to have proclaimed.

Nicknamed the "Mob's Accountant" by the press, Lansky was instrumental in the development of the mob's gambling rackets in Las Vegas and Cuba, when the island off Florida's coast seemed to be a potential new frontier for the Mafia, a place where it thought it could operate with impunity under the auspices of a friendly government. The goal was to operate where it had the freedom to develop its business rackets (primarily gambling and money laundering) unimpeded by law enforcement.


Lansky is something of an enigma; a Jew who did lifelong business with Italians, primarily Sicilians, he still was capable of exerting strong influence within the Mafia. There is some debate regarding the exact role he played during the formative years of American organized crime.

He was never found guilty of anything more than gambling charges, though the law and media hounded him until the end of his life.

The author who wrote of the memoir, as he noted in the story, was friends with Lansky's granddaughter Cynthia Duncan.

She knew that I had just finished writing a novel about mobsters who seek respectability, and invited me into her Miami Beach home to show me his diaries, which have never been made public or even seen by law enforcement."


Take a gander:

Eric Denzenhall on The Lansky Diaries: "Lansky's memoirs, which were written between the 1940s and the late 1970s in spiral-bound accountant's notebooks from Woolworth's, betray an unrepentant mobster who was bitter about having been driven out of business by an "Establishment" he felt was better bred, but not more virtuous.
"My crime is now accepted and made legal in most of our states," he wrote. "And gambling taken over by the hypocritical mob of stock swindlers with the protection of all law enforcement who until now would call casino gambling immoral. 
"We speak of gambling as though it is a commodity one time and a sin another time. ... Saratoga [New York, the site of two Lansky casinos] was a great example of how gambling was used as a political hammer to satisfy [Estes] Kefauver's [the senator who held hearings on the mob and gambling in the 1950s] desire for the presidency but in Saratoga itself was used for pleasure and economic purpose. ... I was picked as the lamb for Dewey [the New York prosecutor who later ran for president].""



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