By Matt Goldstein
Meyer Lansky took the reigns of power during prohibition and was the mastermind behind the National Syndicate, also known as the Commission. The National Syndicate brought together the most powerful crime leaders in the country in which the mob bosses of all the major Italian mafia families worked in partnership to augment a criminal empire of staggering proportions. Up to that point, most mafia families went to battle for territory and the consequences riddled the streets with bodies. The Commission was the first and last major collaboration of organized crime outfits and will most likely never be seen again.
1902 – Maier Suchowljansky A.K.A. Meyer Lansky is born in Grodno Russia.
1914 – Meyer begins getting involved in corner crap games and street gangs.
1918 – Charlie Lucky Luciano tries to shakedown Meyer Lansky and his gang for protection money. Meyer refuses and incites a brawl. Luciano is so impressed with Lansky that he recruits him and the two end up becoming close friends and lifetime business partners.
1918 – Meyer Lansky meets Bugsy Siegel and the two become close friends. Siegel also becomes a high ranking enforcer with Lansky and Luciano.
1919 – Prohibition
1920’s – Lansky, Luciano and Siegel establish a booze smuggling racquet where they specialize in stealing loads and being hired to protect them.
1931 – Meyer and Luciano orchestrate the assassination of mob boss Salvatore Maranzano.
1931 – Meyer orchestrates the National Syndicate with longtime friend and partner, Lucky Luciano as the head.
1930’s – Lansky runs one of the biggest illegal gambling operations in the world.
WWII – Lansky works with the U.S. government to protect the ports in NYC, a possible target of the Nazis. The mob’s control of the dock workers helped provide naval intelligence and national security.
1947 – Bugsy Siegel is murdered after the investment money for the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas goes missing. Lansky tries to stop the murder of Siegel to no avail.
1940’s & 50’s – Lansky and Luciano create a heroin empire even bigger than their prohibition booze smuggling and gambling racquets. The drug dealing is what makes Lansky and Luciano the richest gangsters in history. None of today’s mobsters even come close to their riches without even counting inflation.
1957 – Meyer Lansky opens the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Cuba. It’s the first hotel in Cuba with air conditioning.
1959 – The Fidel Castro communist revolution destroys the mobs stronghold in Cuba and Lansky’s ownership in any and all Cuban assets is dissolved.
1974 – Lansky was acquitted of tax evasion charges
1983 – Meyer Lansky dies of heart failure after living his quiet uneventful golden years in Miami beach.
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