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Charles "King" Solomon (1884-January 24, 1933) was a Jewish-American mob boss who controlled Boston's bootlegging, narcotics and illegal gambling during Prohibition.

Contents

Biography

One of the earliest crime figures in New England's history, Solomon immigrated from the Russian Empire as a boy settling with his family in Boston's West End. The son of a local theater owner, Solomon and his three brothers came from a middle class background and, during his teenage years, worked as a counterman in his uncle's restaurant. However, by his early 20s, he had had become involved in prostitution, fencing and bail bonding prior to Prohibition.

By the early 1920s, he controlled the majority of illegal gambling and narcotics such as cocaine and morphine before expanding into bootlegging with Dan Carroll during Prohibition owning many of the cities most prominent speakeasies including the Cocoanut Grove nightclub. He enjoyed extensive contacts throughout the underworld including the Bronfmans in Canada as well as associates in New York and Chicago.

Although never indicted on bootlegging charges (due to his political connections), he was tried on narcotics charges in 1922. Represented by editor and general councilor of the Boston American Grenville MacFarlane, which had then been crusading against drug abuse, he was later acquitted of charges. He would however served thirteen months of a five year prison sentence at Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for intimidating a witness into perjury for his narcotics trial. During his imprisonment, a request for his transfer to a prison closer to Boston was made by Boston Congressmen George H. Tinkham and James A. Gallivan.

Attending the Atlantic City Conference in 1927, Solomon was one of the several leaders in the "Big Seven" who helped negotiate territorial disputes and establish policies which would influence the later National Crime Syndicate in 1932. Solomon continued to control illegal gambling in New England until his death on January 24, 1933 when he was killed in Boston's Cotton Club by rival gunmen (John Burke and James Coyne).[1] His territories were eventually divided up among his lieutenants Joseph Linsey, Hyman Abrams and brothers Max and Louis Fox.

Further reading

  • Fried, Albert. The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster in America. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980. ISBN 0-23109683-6
  • Goodman, Jonathan (1996). The Passing of Starr Faithfull. [Kent, Ohio]: Kent State University Press. pp. 278–281 et seq on Solomon. ISBN 0-87338-541-1.  
  • Messick, Hank. Lansky. London: Robert Hale & Company, 1973. ISBN 0-7091-3966-7
  • Pietrusza, David. Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003. ISBN 0-7867-1250-3
  • Reppetto, Thomas A. American Mafia: A History of Its Rise to Power. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2004. ISBN 0-8050-7798-7

References

  • English, T.J. Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster. New York: HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 0-06-059002-5
  • Fox, Stephen. Blood and Power: Organized Crime in Twentieth-Century America. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1989. ISBN 0-688-04350-X
  • Sifakis, Carl. The Mafia Encyclopedia. New York: Da Capo Press, 2005. ISBN 0-8160-5694-3

Notes

  1. ^ Your gateway to the North End in Boston at www.northendboston.com

External links

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