Birthday: August 6, 1901
Died At Age: 34
Sun Sign: Leo
Also Known As: Arthur Simon Flegenheimer
Born Country: United States
Born in: The Bronx, New York, United States
Notorious As: Gangster
Spouse/Ex-: Frances Flegenheimer (m. 1932–1935)
father: Herman Flegenheimer
mother: Emma (Neu) Flegenheimer
siblings: Helen Ursprung
children: Anne Davis Flegenheimer, John David Flegenheimer
Died on: October 24, 1935
place of death: Newark
Dutch Schultz was a gangster in the Bronx, New York City, who operated during the 1920s and 1930s. Born as Arthur Flegenheimer, he was of German-Jewish-American descent. He made a huge fortune out of organized crimes that included bootlegging and the numbers racket in Harlem. He started committing crimes like burglary when he was just a teenager. However, he was caught while stealing from an apartment and taken to prison on Blackwell’s Island. This is believed to be the first and only time Dutch was ever arrested. Over the years, he managed to create an entire criminal network based on bootlegging, illegal gambling and murders. His friends named him “Dutch Schultz” after an earlier gangster, who was known for his brutality. Mobster Legs Diamond was one of his biggest enemies. In the beginning, most of his criminal activities were only in and around the Bronx area, the same place where he grew up. However, he later realized that Manhattan was a more lucrative place for his criminal activities. Thus began his rivalry with Legs Diamond, a powerful Irish mobster who was already operating there. Dutch did not take long to establish himself as a dreaded mobster and soon started making millions of dollars every year. It is believed that he had treasures in Phoenicia, New York, and many people continue to look for it even today.
Childhood & Early Life
Dutch Schultz was born on August 6, 1901. His real name was Arthur Simon Flegenheimer, and his parents were German Jewish immigrants, Emma and Herman Flegenheimer. His parents married in Manhattan on November 10, 1900. Dutch had a younger sister named Helen, born in 1904.
In the 1910 census, Emma was listed as “divorced” as Herman had abandoned the family. The abandonment by his father left Dutch traumatized and he spent the rest of his life in denial.
He left his school when he was in the eighth grade to support his mother. From 1916 to 1919, he did menial jobs like working as a feeder and pressman for the Clark Loose Leaf Company, American Express, and other companies in the Bronx.
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Dutch worked at a local night club that was owned by a small-time mobster. He started off with burglary and was caught during the act while breaking into an apartment. He went to a prison in Blackwell's Island, now called Roosevelt Island. He was 18 at that time.
On 8 December 1920, Dutch was released on parole and worked with Schultz Trucking, a shipping company. However, they were involved in smuggling liquor and beer into New York City from Canada.
Dutch started interacting with a lot of criminals. He began working for Italian mobsters after leaving Schultz Trucking following a disagreement.
In the late 1920s, Dutch Schultz created a bootlegging business and was a supplier of speakeasies all over New York. The other gangsters in the area were forced to buy alcohol from him and he gave a tough time to his competitors.
This marked the beginning of his huge criminal empire and he was at loggerheads with mobsters like Legs Diamond and Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll. Diamond and Coll were killed by Schultz's henchmen in 1931 and 1932, respectively.
Dutch started getting involved in the Harlem numbers racket and made millions per year. He extorted money from local unions and this paved the way for his gambling operations at casinos.
Dutch expanded his illegal operations by including a policy racket that was similar to lottery. In 1933, the authorities started taking notice of his illicit business and he was indicted on a tax charge. He also spent months in hiding before surrendering in November 1934.
Dutch was tried twice for income tax evasion in 1935. His first trial resulted in a hung jury, and he was acquitted in the second case. His business started deteriorating due to these trials.
New York special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey took a special interest in Dutch's case and wanted to put him behind bars for his illicit business. In October 1935, he was indicted on federal tax charges.
Schultz wanted to kill Dewey for giving him so many legal problems. However, before that could happen, other gangsters who felt nervous about this move decided to kill Schultz instead.
Details of his personal life are shrouded in mystery. According to some sources, he was married to a woman called Frances Flegenheimer. He reportedly had other “wives” as well.
On October 23, 1935, Schultz and four of his men were gunned down at a restaurant in Newark, New Jersey. He was killed by Murder, Inc. members Charles Workman and Mendy Weiss. Dutch was shot once, below the heart, while he was in the restroom.
He somehow survived the initial attack and made his way to the restaurant table. An ambulance had arrived by then, and he was given brandy to ease the pain as they didn’t have any pain-relief medicines with them.
He was taken to the hospital but he succumbed to his injuries the following day, October 24, 1935. Dutch was given the last rites on his deathbed. He is buried in a Catholic cemetery in New York City as he had converted to Roman Catholicism shortly before his death.