He started out as a simple docking worker, scaled up on a large scale and was known as the "King of the Rumble Runners". Big Bill Dwyer has made so much money, he has partnered with famous gangsters at several weak New York nightclubs. Dwyer also owned two professional hockey teams, including the Americans from New York, and owned the Brooklyn Dodgers football team. In the end, however, when Big Bill Dwyer died, he died from the spotlight and the plane broke.
William Vincent Dwyer was born in 1883 in the Hells Kitchen area of western New York. Two bands, the Hudson Duster and the Gophers, operated Hell's Kitchen at the time, but Dwyer avoided joining both bands and instead took the dock job as stewardor for the International Union of Long Roads (ILU).
While working on the docks, Dwyer begins his own bookmaking operation. After the Wolsted Act, which banned the distribution of alcohol, came into force in 1919, with the money he made from a bookmaker, Dwyer diversified into the booming business. Dwyer bought a fleet of steel boats, each with a machine gun mounted, in case the crooks tried to hijack a shipment. Dwyer also purchased several large rum vessels that were needed to unload the illegal cord from any boat.
Dwyer travels to Canada, England and the Caribbean to establish relationships with those who sell him the alcohol he needs to smuggle in the United States. Dwyer then created a system through which his ships would meet ships that supplied him with liquor many miles out to sea. There, the drink was transferred to Dwyer's ships and then quickly transported to Dwyer's motor boats, which were closer to the New York coast.
The motor boats were unloaded on the docks, which were protected by ILU Local 791, of which Dwyer was a charter member. From the docks, the liquor has been moved to several warehouses in the New York area. When the time came, trucks loaded with illegal alcohol and protected by convoys of crew members were transporting drinks throughout the country: heavy shipments to Florida, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cincinnati and New Orleans.
Dwyer was able to smuggle large quantities of alcoholic beverages in New York because he knew a simple fact: you have to bribe the police and the Coast Guard if you want to succeed in a startup business. And Dwyer did so, handing over thousands of dollars to those who need to be cut.
Paying for New York cops was easy. The cops who hadn't given away graft money were far and few between. However, Dwyer was particularly adept at recruiting Coast Guard members to look the other way when his boats entered the waters of New York.
Dwyer's first contact was Olson's small-time Coast Guard officer. Through Olsen Dwyer, he met dozens of coast guards, "security guards" who he called, who might be willing to take bribes. Dwyer would bring these guards into the bright lights of New York, where he would feed them sumptuous meals, take them to Broadway shows, and even get them a small hotel room occupied by the lady of their choice, for whom Dwyer would also pay . After Guardie took a bribe from Dwyer, he was informed that he could earn hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars more if he could appoint other Guardies to protect Dwyer's shipments.
Soon Dwyer made so much money through bootlegging, he was considered the largest distributor of illegal alcohol in the entire United States of America. Dwyer, however, had a huge problem that needed help solving it. Whenever one of his trucks left New York to distribute alcohol to other parts of the country, they were vulnerable to being captured by hundreds of abductors operating throughout the country. Dwyer knew how to stop this from happening, which he had to take in partners – members of the Italian mafia and the Jewish mafia. As he roared with millions of profits, Dwyer did not mind, and could certainly afford to share the wealth. The problem was that Dwyer was not considered a businessman and was not the gangster himself. Dwyer needed someone in the underworld who could make the contacts Dwyer needed to continue working without fear of being abducted.
Almost by accident, this man fell right into Dwyer's lap. In 1924, two of Dwyer's shipments were abducted in New York. Dwyer leaned against the cops on his payroll to find out who was responsible for the abductions. Soon Word returned to Dwyer that the perpetrator arrested for the abductions was none other than Owen Madden, himself an Irishman who grew up in Liverpool, England, before emigrating to New York as a teenager. Madden was nicknamed the "Murderer" and once ran the Gofer murder gang in Hell's kitchen.
Dwyer paid everyone who had to be paid to drop charges against Madden, with the order "Make me Ouni Madden. I want to talk to him. I have a business proposal that we need to discuss."
Madden received word who was his benefactor and that he was expected to meet Dwyer in return. The two men met at Dwyer's office in the Times Square Loew State Building. There is no record or transcript of this meeting, but T.J. English, in his masterpiece for Irish gangsters called Paddy Whacked, said the conversation between Madden and Dwyer might have gone something like this:
"You have a problem," Madden would say to Dwyer. "Gangsters are beating your trucks like ducks and what are you going to do about it?"
"That's why I called you here."
"You have to organize cherry archers and pickers, not to mention bulls (cops) and shelves (politicians)."
"I'm right. I need kidnappings to stop. I need a place to make my own brew right here in town. Protected by tigers and dill. And I need outlets – speakers, nightclubs, you do it call. "
“You need a lot, my friend.
"Are you with me?"
"Give me one reason why."
"I can make you rich."
"Pal, you and I are two peas in a pod."
And that was the start of the Irish Mafia in New York, which would then team up with Italian and Jewish mafia to control the startup business in the United States. The grouping of the three ethnic mafias was known as the Combination.
With millions of Dwyer, Madden oversees the creation of Phoenix Cereal Drink Company, located on 26th Street and 10th Avenue, right in the heart of Hell's Kitchen, where both Madden and Dwyer grew up. This red brick building, which consisted of the entire block, was originally the Clausen & Flanagan brewery, which was created for the production and sale of beer in the vicinity that no real beer drinker would let his lips pass. The beer made in Phoenix was called Madden's # 1.
With Dwyer basically the man behind the scenes, Madden became the architect who created and nourished their empire. Madden brought in a former taxi business owner named Larry Fay as the front man of several high-end establishments that were needed to sell Madden No. 1, plus all the scotch, rum, vodka, cognac and champagne the combine smuggled into town. One of those places was El Faye on 54 West Street.
The main attraction in El Fay was Texas Ginan, a cabaret singer / comedian cabaret singer who was later copied by May West. To entice Ginan to work in El Fay, Madden and Dwyer made Ginan a partner. Ginan was known for her wise men who roared between clutches or a piercing whistle as she sat in a high chair in the main room. Guinan's signature said, "Hello Suker," so she congratulated all of El Fay's well-healed clients.
When a singer or dancer finishes performing in El Fay, Ginan will exhort the crowd to "Give the little lady a great big hand!"
One day, a restraining agent who couldn't be bought by Madden or Dwyer attacked El Fay. He approached Ginan, put a hand on her shoulder, and told his fellow agent, "Give the little lady a big big handcuff."
Dwyer did what he did best, Ginan was released from prison, and El Fay soon jumped again, making everyone involved really rich.
Madden and Dwyer also partner with former bootlegger Sherman Billingsley at the extremely modern Stork Club on East 53rd Street. The two Irish gangsters spread their wings in northern Manhattan when they bought Club De Luxe from former heavyweight champion Jack Johnson. They appointed Big Frenchy De Mange as their operating partner and changed the name to Cotton Club. At Cotton Club De Mange set up a policy for accepting Whites Only, despite the fact that the waiters, dancers and title artists such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Nicholas Brothers were all black.
Still, the Cotton Club was thriving with big spending from the center, putting tons of money into the pockets of Dwyer and Madden.
In 1925, Dwyer was arrested for attempting to bribe members of the Coast Guard during a sting operation led by the Prohibition Bureau. Dwyer was sentenced to two years in prison, but was released for good behavior after 13 months. With Dwyer in the can, Frank Costello took over the refueling business with Dwyer.
While in jail, an angry Dwyer told one of his teammates. "I wish I had never seen a case of whiskey. I spent years in the daily fear of my life, I always expected to be arrested, I always deal with crooks and double croissants, and now look at me. My wife is heartbroken and I'm over worse than broken. "
As we shall see, this was not true.
When Dwyer took to the streets again, he broke free of the boom, leaving the operation of Costello and Madden's rum. To pass his time, Dwyer began investing in legitimate businesses, especially in sports teams.
In 1926, boxing promoter Tex Ricard joined Dwyer to buy the National Hockey League's Hamilton Tigers. Dwyer did this and he moved his team to New York's Madison Square Garden and renamed them New York Americans. As smart as Dwyer was in running the bootleg business, he was just as dumb in running a hockey team. Dwyer's strategy of winning pockets in his pockets was bursting with cash, generally overpaying all of his team. When the average hockey player makes between $ 1,500 and $ 2,000 a year, Dwyer gives Billy Birch a 3-year contract for $ 25,000. Shorty Green also got a huge raise when Dwyer awarded him a $ 5,000 a year contract.
Being an old crook in his heart, Dwyer took an active part in the leadership of his team, even going so far as to try and install the games. Dwyer paid the referees a goal to rule that his team scored a goal if the puck just touched the goal line instead of completely passing the goal, which is the rule.
Playing in 1927 at Madison Square Garden, the goalie Dwyer had in his pocket began to mock Ottawa goalie Alex Connell for some unknown reason. Connell punched his hockey stick in the nose of the referee's goal. Dwyer was outraged by the Ottawa goalkeeper's actions (you do not control one of Dwyer's employees), and Connell was told to leave town shortly after the game. A police detail led Connell to the station and protected it until the train left the city safely. After the train left the train, a man asked Connell if he was Ottawa goalkeeper Alex Connell. Connel fears for his life, told the stranger no. And as a result, he lives in goalkeeping other hockey games.
Bypassing the league's rule that one cannot own two hockey teams, in 1929, Dwyer, using former boxing champion Benny Leonard as his front man, purchased the NHL's Pirates. In 1930, Dwyer also inserted his dirty fingers into the newly formed National Football League, buying the Dayton Triangles for $ 2,500. Dwyer moved the team to Ebbets Field in Brooklyn and renamed them Brooklyn Dodgers.
After three years, Dwyer, once again overpaying all his players, began to lose so much money, he sold the Brooklyn Dodgers to two former New York Giants football players: Chris Cagle and John Sims for $ 25,000. Although he sold the team 10 times more than he paid, Dwyer estimated that he still lost $ 30,000 in the three years he owned the team.
In 1934, filled with sports teams in America (he still owned the Americans from New York, but they were bleeding money), Dwyer bought the famous tropical horse race track in Miami, Florida.
However, the roof fell to Dwyer when, in 1935, he was charged with a gambling charge. Dwyer won the case, but then his government did what they did to Al Capone: they hit him with tax evasion fees. These allegations remained and Dwyer was seized of all his assets except the Americans from New York and a house in Bel Harbor, Queens. With almost no money, Dwyer no longer had the money to keep the Americans of New York afloat.
In 1937, the National Hockey League temporarily took control of the Americans from New York. To show the NHL that he was financially solvent, Dwyer borrowed $ 20,000 from Red Dutton. However, instead of paying the salaries of his team, Dwyer decided to try to multiply his money by playing nonsense. That didn't go over well when Dwyer went out and lost a full twenty grand. Unable to pay his team and unable to raise more capital, the NHL steadily started Dwyer and took over the last control of the Americans in New York. Devastated and humiliated, Dwyer retired to his home in Bell's harbor.
On December 10, 1943, Big Bill Dwyer, the "King of the Romanians," died at the age of 63. According to Dwyer, he has no money, his only asset being the roof over his head.