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Arnold Rothstein

Rothstein, Arnold (rôthˈstēn) [key], 1883–1928, American gambler, b. New York City. Supposedly beginning his career at the age of 12, Rothstein became a professional gambler and operated gaming houses in New York City, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Long Beach, N.Y. He had a reputation for betting large amounts of money, and once bet $140,000 on a horse and $100,000 on a single throw of the dice. He also operated a racing stable, a real estate business, and a bail bond operation. Rothstein was believed to have contacts in high places and was often accused of being the mastermind behind large gambling scandals (in particular the "Black Sox" baseball scandal of 1919, where eight members of the Chicago White Sox confessed to accepting bribes to throw that year's World Series to Cincinnati). While playing cards in a hotel room he was murdered—allegedly for reneging on a bet. His murderer or murderers were never identified.

See biographies by D. Pietrusza (2004) and N. Tosches (2005); D. H. Clark, In the Reign of Rothstein (1929); C. Rothstein, Now I'll Tell (1934); L. Katcher, The Big Bankroll (1959).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Crime and Law Enforcement: Biographies


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