Moe Dalitz

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Morris Barney Dalitz (25 December 1899 – 31 August 1989) was a Jewish American gangster, casino owner, and one of the major figures who shaped Las Vegas in the 20th century. He was often referred to as "Mr. Las Vegas".

He is stated to have been involved in the "The Little Jewish Navy”, Jewish smugglers buying legal liquor in Canada and then smuggling it by boat to the United States during the Prohibition.

Although he later admitted under oath that he had been a bootlegger and had operated illegal gambling houses, Dalitz was never convicted of a crime. During Senator Estes Kefauver's committee (the Kefauver Commission) hearings investigating organized crime, when questioned about his bootlegging, Dalitz admitted to bootlegging, presumably because by this time this was not a punishable crime.

"Early in his life, Dalitz was a bootlegger and racketeer mentioned in the same breath as (Jewish) Meyer Lansky and (Jewish) Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel. In Cleveland, one longtime member of law enforcement would tell the Kefauver Commission, ‘Ruthless beatings, unsolved murders and shakedowns, threats and bribery came to this community as a result of gangsters’ rise to power.’ Dalitz was considered part of that rise.”"[1]

Wikipedia labels him a "philanthropist", citing that the Anti-Defamation League in 1982 gave him its "Torch of Liberty" award. Other sources state that the award was due to giving money to the Anti-Defamation League and/or Israel.


Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.