Owney Madden Lived A Seemingly Quiet Life For Decades In The Resort Town Of Hot Springs, Arkansas, While He Was Actually Helping Some Of America S Most Notorious Gangsters Rule A Vast Criminal Empire In 1987, Graham Nown First Told Madden S Story In His Book The English Godfather, In Which He Traced Madden S Boyhood In England, His Immigration To New York City, And His Rise To Mob Boss Nown Also Uncovered A Love Story Involving Madden And The Daughter Of The Hot Springs Postmaster Before His Arrival In Hot Springs, Madden Was One Of The Most Powerful Gangsters In New York City And Former Owner Of The Famous Cotton Club In Harlem The Story Of His Life Shows Us A World Where People Can Break The Law Without Ever Getting Caught, And Where Criminality Is So Entwined In Government And Society That One Might Wonder What Is Legality And What Isn T. Hot Springs, Ark Illegal gambling Payoffs to sheriffs and politicians Although when I lived in Little Rock circa 1960 I was vaguely aware of the city s shady side, I don t recall that I knew that it was controlled by a former big time member of the New York City west side criminal fraternity and that he was living there in mostly quiet seclusion This book is mostly about Owen Owney Madden, an English born gangster, and his NYC criminal activities flouting prohibition, shootings, imprisonments his friendships with prominent boxers, dealings with fellow racketeers and hobnobs with actors, actresses and entertainers Three chapters at end relate directly to his Arkansas connection, a state to which he retired after prosecutors in New York turned up the heat In Hot Springs he hosted big name gangsters Al Capone, Frank Costello, Meyer Lansky, others and Hollywood friends who came to take the waters He maintained financial interests in the city s officially illeg
Enjoyed this book about Owney Madden, a NYC mobster that ended up in Hot Springs, Arkansas Despite being pretty well unknown outside of those two places, he was an infamous mafia leader He avoided publicity and even paid Walter Winchell to keep his name out of his column Owner of the Cotton Club, partnered with Joe Kennedy during the bootlegging era, boyfriend of Mae West, friend of George Raft and involved in many nefarious enterprises, Owney like many of the Mafia guys visited Hot Springs where he fell in love with the postmasters daughter Eventually aft
Really intriguing look at a man who had no interest in publicity and exploits that garnered the attention of his adopted country. NICE job of throwing a spotlight on little known Arkansas history.
- 290 pages
- Arkansas Godfather
- Graham Nown
- 14 December 2017 Graham Nown