TYPE: Letter
DIMENSIONS: Letter: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
COMPONENTS: A white page of paper with a Bible verse from John 15:12 printed at the top is filled with handwritten verses in blue ink from Psalms and Exodus on the front and back. The accompanying envelope is marked "personal" and is addressed to Lansky and the return address reads "The Chandlers, c/o 8672 Bird Rd. Suite 206, Miami, Florida 33155."
NOTES: PROVENANCE: From The Mob Experience Collection
Meyer Lansky (born Maier Suchowljansky - July 4, 1902 – January 15, 1983), known as the "Mob's Accountant," was an American organized crime figure who, along with his associate Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the National Crime Syndicate in the United States.

A member of the Jewish mob, Lansky developed a gambling empire that stretched around the world. He was said to own points (percentages) in casinos in Las Vegas, Cuba, The Bahamas and London.

Lansky additionally had a strong influence with the Italian-American Mafia and played a large role in the consolidation of the criminal underworld. The full extent of this role has been the subject of some debate, as Lansky himself denied many of the accusations against him.
Despite nearly 50 years as a member/participant in organized crime, Lansky was never found guilty of anything more serious than illegal gambling. He has a legacy of being one of the most financially successful gangsters in American history. Before he fled Cuba, he was said to be worth an estimated $20 million (equivalent to $159 million in 2020). When he died in 1983, his family learned that his estate was worth around US$57,000 (equivalent to $155,079 in 2021).

Lansky retired in Miami. Lansky's last years were spent quietly at his home in Miami Beach, Florida. He died of lung cancer on January 15, 1983, aged 80, leaving a widow and three children.

On paper, Lansky was worth almost nothing. At the time, the FBI believed he left behind over $300 million in hidden bank accounts, but they never found any money. This would be equivalent to $668 million in 2020.
The character Hyman Roth, portrayed by Lee Strasberg, and certain aspects of the main character Michael Corleone from the film The Godfather Part II (1974), are based on Lansky. In fact, shortly after the premiere in 1974, Lansky phoned Strasberg and congratulated him on a good performance (Strasberg was nominated for an Oscar for his role), but added, "You could've made me more sympathetic." Roth's statement to Corleone that "We're bigger than U.S. Steel" was similar to a quote from Lansky, said to his wife while watching a news story on the Mafia.

The character Johnny Ola, Roth's right-hand man, was inspired by Lansky's associate Vincent Alo. Additionally, the character Moe Greene, who was a friend of Roth, is modeled upon Bugsy Siegel. The film reflects real life in that Lansky was denied the Right of Return to Israel and returned to the US to face criminal charges, but invented details regarding Roth's attempts to bribe Latin American dictators for entry to their countries, as well as Roth's ultimate fate.

David Leon Chandler (May 26, 1937 – January 23, 1994) was an American journalist who wrote several historical and biographical books during the 1970s and 1980s. He was associated with early coverage of the Kennedy Assassination and was mentioned in the Warren Commission report. Chandler's books include Brothers in Blood (1975), a history of the Cosa Nostra; The Natural Superiority of Southern Politicians, (1977); 100 Tons of Gold about a mysterious gold horde in New Mexico; Henry Flagler: The Astonishing Life and Times of the Visionary Robber Baron Who Founded Florida (1986); The Binghams of Louisville (1988), a controversial biography of Robert Worth Bingham (who married Flagler's widow a year before her death); and The Jefferson Conspiracies (1994), about the death of Meriwether Lewis (released several months after Chandler's death). He died in Denver at age 56. He was survived by his third wife Mary Voelz Chandler and by four children from previous marriages.
ITEM ID: 5340
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