September 22: Southland Syndicates: Jack Dragna and Organized Crime in Los Angeles
J. Michael Niotta will share a rare look into the history of organized crime in the City of Angels. Learn about Jack Dragna’s gambling operations, bootlegging and other illegal activities through his eyes.
Author J. Michael Niotta is the great-grandson of syndicate boss Jack Dragna. In his book, The Los Angeles Sugar Ring: Inside the World of Old Money, Bootleggers & Gambling Barons, Niotta reveals the connections between politics and crime in early Los Angeles as seen through his great-grandfather’s eyes.
Niotta will explore the impact that Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and Mickey Cohen had on Los Angeles organized crime, and separate fact from fiction in a city built on celluloid myths.
Niotta will discuss:
- Jack Dragna’s allies and rivals, including Frank Borgia and Big George Niotta
- How the Mob differed between the East and West coasts
- Why Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and Mickey Cohen didn’t quite fit with L.A.
- How pop culture has fostered misconceptions through its glossy portrayals of the people and events of the Mob era
Don’t miss this in-person look at the truth behind the Hollywood mythology told through Dragna’s bloodline.
A book signing with Niotta will proceed this program.
Free for Museum Member or with Museum admission.
If you’re a Museum Member, please bring your Membership card with you and look for a member check-in table in our lobby.
If you’re not a Museum Member, please check-in at our box office to purchase your Museum admission.
J. Michael Niotta
Author, journalist and crime historian J. Michael Niotta is the great-grandson of infamous Los Angeles crime syndicate boss Jack Dragna, whose involvement in the real L.A. underworld have fed Niotta’s obsessive interest and research into the mythology and the reality of that era. His latest book is The Los Angeles Sugar Ring: Inside the World of Old Money, Bootleggers & Gambling Barons.