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What Was American Gangster Meyer Lansky’s Net Worth at the Time of His Passing?

The iconic mobster Meyer Lansky took organized crime to a whole new level.
Cover Image Source: Headshot of Russian-born criminal Meyer Lansky |Getty Images | Photo by Hulton Archive
Cover Image Source: Headshot of Russian-born criminal Meyer Lansky |Getty Images | Photo by Hulton Archive
Name  Meyer Lansky
Net Worth $600 Million
Sources of Income  Gambling Empire
Date of Birth July 4, 1902
Date of Death January 15, 1983
Gender Male
Nationality United States of America
Profession Gangster, Gambler, Investor 

The infamous organized crime figure Meyer Lansky famously known as "The Mob's Accountant" had a net worth of $600 million at the time of his death. The Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that he had hidden around $300-$400 million in his bank accounts. Recognized as one of the most financially successful gangsters that history has ever seen, Lansky was not accused of anything other than illegal gambling.

Reputed Mafia chieftain Meyer Lansky speaks to press September 11th outside court house after Israel's Supreme Court rejected his citizenship application in effect upholding the government's claim that he would constitute a
Mafia chieftain Meyer Lansky speaks to the press outside the courthouse | Getty Images

Lansky had strong ties with other notable organized crime figures, including Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Together, they helped establish the National Crime Syndicate, a network that coordinated various criminal activities across the United States. He was heavily involved in the management and operation of illegal gambling activities, such as casinos and bookmaking operations. He also had a significant role in developing casinos in Cuba and Las Vegas.

During the Prohibition era (1920-1933), he committed organized crimes and was involved in bootlegging – the illegal production and distribution of alcohol. Moreover, he provided loans to individuals at extremely high-interest rates. This allowed him to accumulate wealth through the interest payments. Lansky was known for being skilled at money laundering, finding ways to legitimize and invest the proceeds of illegal activities in legal businesses.

Meyer Lansky (right), reputed underworld financial mastermind, strides along a Miami street February 26th with his attorney, E. David Rosen, by his side. Lansky, 70, was found guilty on a criminal contempt charge February 28th. No sentencing date was set and Lansky was continued free on bond. Lansky has been charged with
Meyer Lansky with his attorney, E. David Rosen | Getty Images


Despite his involvement in criminal activities, Lansky was known for his ability to avoid major convictions for much of his career. He was arrested in 1936 on charges of bookmaking but eventually got away. His involvement in the infamous Havana Conference, a meeting of American Mafia leaders in Cuba, drew the attention of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Lansky faced legal troubles in the United States, including charges related to tax evasion and gambling. In 1970, he went into self-imposed exile in Israel to escape ongoing legal challenges in the U.S. After returning to the United States in 1972, Lansky was arrested. In 1974, the charges were dropped due to his poor health, and he was released. He continued to face legal troubles, including deportation attempts and investigations, but he managed to avoid major convictions until he died in 1983.

New York, NY- Gambler Meyer Lansky jauntily descends stairs at Manhattan Arrest Court. He indicated he intends to resume his gambling activities in Cuba, despite Cuban interior minister Santiago Rey's announcement that Lansky would not be re-admitted because of his difficulties in the United States. He has been persistently questioned in connection with the murder of Albert Ansastasia.|Getty Images
New York, NY- Gambler Meyer Lansky jauntily descends stairs at Manhattan Arrest Court | Getty Images

Lansky got married twice in his life. His first marriage was with Anna Citron in 1929, with whom he had three children, Bernard, Paul, and Sandra. After his divorce in 1946, he married Thelma Schwarz in 1948. She worked as a manicurist at the Midtown Manhattan hotel and was with him until his death. Lansky spent his last years at his home in Miami Beach, Florida. He died of lung cancer on January 15, 1983, aged 80.

Gambling boss Meyer Lansky (right) smokes a cigarette as he is booked on charges of vagrancy at the West 54th Street police station in Manhattan.|Getty Images
Gambling boss Meyer Lansky (right) smokes a cigarette as he is booked on charges of vagrancy | Getty Images

Meyer Lansky’s legacy

Various actors have portrayed Lansky in different productions, including Brian Benben in "The Gangster Chronicles," James Woods in "Once Upon a Time in America," Mark Rydell in "Havana," Patrick Dempsey in "Mobsters," Dustin Hoffman in "The Lost City," and Ian Bell in "The Making of the Mob: New York." In the film "Lansky" (2021), John Magaro depicts the young version of the gangster, while Harvey Keitel portrays his older self.

What is Meyer Lansky famously known as?

Lansky is famously known as "The Mob's Accountant" and "Secretary of the Treasure."

When was Meyer Lansky arrested?

Lansky was arrested in 1972 because of his conspiracies, tax evasion, and sliding casino profits. 

How did Meyer Lansky die? 

Lansky succumbed to lung cancer in 1983.