Bugsy Siegel Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1906 - 1947 *** Full Name: Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel *** Nickname: Benny, Bug, Bugs and Bugsy *** Occupation: American Jewish Mobster *** Date of Birth: Bugsy Siegel was born on February 28th 1906 *** Place of Birth: Bugsy Siegel was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, U.S. *** Family background: His father was Max Siegel and his mother was Jennie Siegel. His parents were of Jewish descent from either Russia or some say the family may have come from Austria, the family were impoverished *** Early life and childhood: Bugsy Siegel grew up with four siblings in Brooklyn *** Education: Bugsy Siegel although he began attending school he later dropped out *** Bugsy Siegel died on June 20, 1947
Bugsy Siegel Fact 1: Bugsy Siegel was born on February 28th 1906 and during the 20th century period in history when great strides were being made in technology, medicine and aviation.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 2: When Bugsy dropped out of school it was join a gang on Lafayette Street in Manhattan on the Lower East Side committing mainly thefts.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 3: When he met Moe Sedway the two established a protection racket. Moe was twelve years older than Bugsy and had a criminal record for armed robbery, murder and rape.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 4: Bugsy also made friends with Meyer Lansky, also his senior by four years. Lansky had already come across Salvatore Lucania, an Italian mobster and recognized that if the Jewish boys wanted to compete with the likes of the Irish and Italian mobs, they had to become organized and that was when he recruited Ben Siegel.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 5: Bugsy began bootlegging and became involved in several major East Coast cities. He was also Lansky’s hitman and when necessary Lanksy hired him out to crime families. They became the Bugs and Meyer Mob and took contracts for the local bootleg gangs that operated in New Jersey and New York.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 6: Meyer Lanksy one said of Bugsy “Bugsy never hesitated when danger threatened. While we tried to figure out what the best move was, Bugsy was already shooting. When it came to action there was no one better. I've never known a man who had more guts.”.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 7: He also made a friend in Al Capone to the extent that when an arrest warrant was posted for Capone, Bugsy allowed Capone to stay with his aunt.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 8: Siegel began smoking opium during his teenage years and later became involved in the drug trade.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 9: Siegel and Lanksy were known to the future bosses of the Genovase crime family, Frank Costello and Charles “Lucky” Luciano. In April of 1931, on Luciano’s orders, four men, Albert “Mad Hatter” Anastasia, Joe Adonis, Vito Genovese and Siegel himself were apparently ordered to shoot Joe Masseria the New York mob boss which would see an end to the Castellammarese War.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 10: In September of that same year, another four men were hired from Siegel and Lansky’s gang to kill Salvatore Maranzano which would assist Luciano’s rise in the ranks of the U.S. Mafia.Bugsy Siegel Fact 15: Bugsy Siegel had many friends in Hollywood and often met them socially. He knew such people as Louis B. Mayer and Jack L. Warner as well as the likes of the Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Gary Cooper not to mention Jean Harlow.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 11: Also in 1931 Murder, Incorporated was formed with Siegel and other associates with Siegel still working as a hitman himself.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 12: Bugsy Siegel had a disagreement with the Fabrizzo brothers who had been hired by Waxey Gordon after Siegel and Lanksy informed the IRS of Gordon’s tax evasion. After the brother’s attempted to kill Siegel and Lanksy, Siegel went on the hunt for them and was more successful.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 13: However the older brother of Fabrizzo brothers, Tony, left written proof with an attorney about Siegel. Bugsy Siegel checked into a hospital and sneaking out afterwards, locating Tony and killing him and getting back to his hospital bed seemed to establish an alibi.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 14: However, his alibi would be called into question later on and his life was also in danger. In order to keep him out of harm’s way he was sent to the West Coast to help develop a syndicate gambling racket there with Los Angeles family crime boss Jack Dragna.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 16: By 1945 Bugsy Siegel began to want to become a legitimate businessman and Las Vegas gave him the opportunity to reinvent himself.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 17: Having taken over the Flamingo Hotel in the hopes of making lots of money the venture initially flopped and closed down having only been opened for one month. Bugsy Siegel would be given a second change however and he made sure he didn’t squander it.
Bugsy Siegel Fact 18: Bugsy Siegel was sitting in his home in in Beverly Hills with Allen Smiley an associate reading a newspaper when he was shot dead. The assailant fired through a window and hit him with multiple bullets, with two shots to his head on June 20, 1947. The crime remains unsolved. His body was laid to rest at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in California.
Influence & Legacy: From boyhood to manhood Bugsy Siegel lived a life of crime and such was the way he was murdered. No one was ever charged with his murder and the case remains an unsolved one.
Short Facts about Bugsy Siegel for Kids
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