Shades of Gray

Dead Person of the Day November 4 – Arnold Rothstein

0 Comments 04 November 2011

Wow Folks. Just….WOW!

What a day in the obit-o-sphere. I bribed a friend of mine at the NYT with half of my ham sandwich yesterday and he let me have unprecedented access to the old archives over there. So I seized the opportunity to go waaaaay back to 1928. Today’s DPD is Arnold Rothstein. Nicknamed the “Brain’ he was a New York businessman and notorious gambler. He made his mark as (allegedly) the man behind the Black Sox World Series scandal of 1919. If you’ve never seen the movie Eight Men Out, please do. It does a great job of chronicling the affair (not to mention Michael Lerner delivers a tour de force as Rothstein).
But ANYWAY, this obit is fascinating. Its amazing how easily major publications, such as the NYT, would give up people’s addresses and report on sheer speculation. Obits back then just seem a bit more personal and informal. It was a pleasure to read. So, without further ado….

ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN (January 17, 1882 – November 4, 1928)

Arnold Rothstein, the gambler, died yesterday in Polyclinic Hospital without disclosing who had shot him Sunday night in the Park Central hotel at a meeting called to force him to settle gambling debts of more than $300,000. Last night, however, it was learned that the police were seeking “Jimmy” Meehan, an ex-convice, for questioning.

The police said that it was in Meehan’s apartment in the midtown section that Rothstein lost between $300,000- and $340,000 at stud poker and “high spade”, and they wanted Meehan’s help in ascertaining who had attended the settlement meeting. Continue

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