Title

Schultz, "Dutch"

Document Type

Chapter

Abstract

Born Arthur Flegenheimer in the Bronx to Herman and Emma Flegenheimer, Schultz drifted into criminal activity after his father, a saloon keeper, abandoned the family in 1916. Schultz went on to become one of the pre-eminent bootleggers and gambling entrepreneurs of the 1930s, and his violent death sealed his place in the pantheon of organized crime. Apprenticed to a roofer, then a printer, as a teenager, Schultz found the street life of Bronx petty criminals more attractive than regular work and took to crime; at the age of 17, he was arrested for burglary. After a 15-month stint in prison (the only jail time of his career, despite many arrests), Schultz returned to the Bronx with the sobriquet “Dutch” Schultz,” borrowed from a well-known local boxer. This was in 1920, after the gold rush of national Prohibition had started. But Schultz, then only 18 and relatively inexperienced at organized criminal activity, did not immediately rise to prominence. Instead, those slightly older than he, who had a few years of serious racketeering under their belts but who retained ambition, took the lead.

Disciplines

American Popular Culture | American Studies | Criminology and Criminal Justice | Social History

Permissions

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Publisher Citation

Schwartz, D. (2012). Schultz, “Dutch”. In Wilbur R. Miller (Ed.), The social history of crime and punishment in America: An encyclopedia. (pp. 1611-1612). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781452218427.n613