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The Dirty Thirties

Gangsters of the 1930's
Heads of the 1930's
Broadway in the 1930's
Inventions of the 1930's
Links* the 1930's

Gangsters of the 1930's

The dirty thirties were times when gangsters, mobs, outlaws and many other criminally involved groups became very popular. There were a large number of men which were alcoholics, which lead to woman being left and beaten.  When the woman had had enough alcohol was banned. Although alcohol was illegal large amounts of money were being made behind the scenes. Speakeasy's were created. These were bars which were found in the basements of homes where alcohol was served at very high prices. When police found out about these bars they were often bribed by being served free alcohol. These were named “killer” or “dirty” cops. They also knew about, yet helped the gangs in return for being paid about four times their present wages at the police office.    



Joe the boss, Joseph Masseria, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Vito Genovese

The Lucchese family

There were many very popular families who were very good at this profession. The Lucchese family were one of the most popular. They inspired the way gangsters looked in mob movies such as Goodfellas, Scar face and the Sopranos. They were found in New York cities Bronx. Gaetano "Tom" Reina was the first boss of what would eventually be known as the Lucchese family. But for now he worked for Giuseppe Masseria the Mafia boss of all of New York, and he ruled with an iron fist, insisted that everyone call him "Joe the Boss." The greedy bastard now wanted an even bigger slice of the pie, and from Reina's point of view it was undeserved. Reina was thinking of joining Salvatore Maranzano, a new comer to New York City from Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily. He was gaining strength and giving Masseria a run for his money. Vito Genovese was an associate of Charles "Lucky" Luciano, who was "Joe the Boss" Masseria's top lieutenant which also blew Reina’s head off. Lucky Luciano had been chafing under Masseria's harsh grip himself, and he knew that Reina was thinking about joining forces with the newcomer Maranzano.


Al Capone had taken over Johnny Torrio's empire. He was a major force now in the Chicago underworld. He was a great part of the community. Being generous, helpful, and successful and pleasing the people. He dealt whisky during prohibition and did it very successfully. He found a way of getting the whisky from New York to Chicago without being caught. "Chicago is the imperial city of the gang world, and New York a remote provincial place," wrote Alva Johnston in the New Yorker.  In Chicago," beer has lifted the gangster from a local leader of roughs and gunmen to a great executive controlling a big interstate and international organization.  Beer, real beer, like water supply or the telephone, is a natural monopoly."  He then created a written portrait of Al Capone, the "greatest gang leader in history."


(for the story of Al Capone rent the movie Scar Face)