A&E's award-winning series Biography profiles the life of the infamous Bugsy Siegel. Born Benjamin Siegel in Brooklyn, New York this New York and California gangster was the U.S. crime syndicate's initial developer of Las Vegas gambling, began his career as a small time extortionist on New York's Lower East Side. Around 1918, he teamed up with Meyer Lansky and started bootlegging and gambling rackets in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. He and Lansky also ran a murder-for-hire operation, the forerunner of Murder, Inc. In 1931, he helped execute gangster Joe "the Boss" Masseria.
In California, Siegel developed gambling dens, off-shore gambling ships, narcotics smuggling, and other illegal enterprises. His good looks and charm also gained him the friendship of Hollywood stars and celebrities. He developed a nationwide bookmakers' wire service and, in 1945, began working toward his dream of building the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, northeast of Los Angeles. When it was discovered that Siegel was "skimming" money from the project, Lansky and other eastern bosses were incensed. In the late evening of June 20, 1947, Siegel was killed in his Beverly Hills mansion, when bullets were fired through his living room window. Simultaneously, three of Lansky's cronies entered the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas and declared a takeover.
~ John Patrick Sheehan, Rovi