One of Avenue‘s most popular ongoing columns, Notorious New Yorkers, tells the story one of our city’s more infamous inhabitants. From grifters to mobsters, these were the rogues we loved learning about this year.
Meyer Lansky, the Mob’s Accountant
If one wants to be intrigued by a criminal mind, look no further than Meyer Lansky: casino magnate, businessman, and mafioso. Read the full story.
Frederick Cook, the Far-Flung Fraud
Frederick Cook was the first explorer to reach the North Pole and summit Denali — or was he? Avenue dove in to the tale of the scandal-ridden 19th-century adventurer and his stunning fall from grace. Read the full story.
Al Goldstein, Sultan of Smut
Al Goldstein and his magazine, Screw, brought a grittiness and edge to the porn industry of the swinging ’60s and beyond. But his antics and flamboyant vindictive streak brought him infamy and some powerful enemies. Read the full story.
Jackie Rogers, the Sharp Tongue of High Society
Jackie Rogers was a muse to Coco Chanel and Federico Fellini before making a name for herself as a sharp-tongued fashion designer. Here’s how a girl from Boston had society matrons in Manhattan, the Hamptons, and Palm Beach shaking. Read the full story.
Jim Fisk, a Gilded Age Grifter
Jim Fisk’s financial crimes nearly took down a presidency. But his comeuppance came from an unusual source: his mistress’s new boyfriend. Avenue untangles the dirty deeds of the robber baron lost to time, and the affair that undid him. Read the full story.
Howard Stein, Creature of the Night
The son of a loan shark and mafia associate, club proprietor Howard Stein was equally loved and hated by New York’s nightlife demimonde. Through the haze of smoke, cocaine, and strobe lights, who was the real Stein? Read the full story.
BONUS: Anna Delvey Conned People. So Why are Socialites Flocking to Her Parties?
Only a few years ago Anna Delvey was making headlines as a fake heiress who scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars out of banks, hotels, and former coworkers. Now, her new East Village pad — dubbed “Club House Arrest,” which she is literally under — is a party hot spot for society figures both uptown and downtown. Read the full story.