Meyer Lansky (born Meier Suchowlański; July 4, 1902 – January 15, 1983), known as the “Mob’s Accountant“, was an American major 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.
Associated with the Jewish mob, Lansky developed a gambling empire that stretched across the world. He was said to own points (percentages) in casinos in Las Vegas, Cuba, The Bahamas and London. Although a member of the Jewish mob, Lansky undoubtedly had 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 fifty 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 $193 million in 2019). However, when he died in 1983, his family was shocked to learn that his estate was worth around $57,000