Texas Guinan

 

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She wasn’t a gangster, a gambler or a bootlegger, but as Prohibition Era New York’s Queen of the Nightclubs she rubbed elbows with all three on a nightly basis.

Long before she was delighting Broadway with catch phrases like “Hello, sucker!” “Butter and egg man,” and “Give the little lady a great big hand,” Los Angeles had known her as a musical comedy chorine, and a rough-and-tumble star of western movies. The city never quite forgot her. 

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Tony Cornero: The Bootleg Years

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It was a woman scorned who first called Tony Cornero the King of the Bootleggers. The press ran with it. His rum-running operation was remarkably successful, if marred at times by drama, bootlegger wars and run-ins with police.  Continue reading

Milton “Farmer” Page

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For all the energy expelled in expunging from Los Angeles that most dreaded of species, the gangsterous easternicus, one of the biggest fish of all of them was a hometown boy. Milton Bernard Page, known as “Farmer,” was born in the city in 1887. Though the gambling den was his natural habitat, he was also said to have dealt in liquor during the early Prohibition years.  Continue reading