King of the Bootleggers

A Biography of George Remus


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About the Book

As a pharmacist turned lawyer turned master prohibition era bootlegger, George Remus is now remembered as one of the most notorious figures of the American prohibition. Even though he was a lifelong teetotaler, Remus built one of the nation’s largest illegal liquor empires with little regard to disguises or secrecy. This biography tells the complete story of Remus’ private life and public persona, focusing especially on the turbulent rise and fall of his bootlegging kingdom. It begins with an overview of Remus’ early life and careers in pharmacy and law, and covers his bootlegging career, including his overwhelmingly successful early business ventures, his 1922 bootlegging conviction, his murder of wife Imogene (after she had a well-publicized affair with prohibition agent Franklin Dodge), and Remus’ subsequent trial for her murder.

About the Author(s)

William A. Cook is the author of numerous books, including 11 on baseball history, and has appeared in productions on ESPN2 and the MLB Network. A former health care administrator and township councilman in North Brunswick, New Jersey, he resides in Manalapan, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

William A. Cook
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 225
Bibliographic Info: 22 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3652-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9157-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

1. Remus Pulls Himself Up by the Bootstraps      5
2. Murder in the Sherman House      9
3. Divorce and Career Change for Remus      21
4. Politics and the Ohio Gang      29
5. Taking Care of Business      46
6. Remus Has His Day in Court      56
7. Smith Commits Suicide and Remus Goes to Prison      71
8. Remus, Roxy and Means Expose the Ohio Gang      81
9. Remus Is Cheated Out of Whisky and Wife      100
10. Imogene Gunned Down—Remus; “I owed this to Society”      116
11. The Trial, Part One: Jury Selection      127
12. The Trial, Part Two: Testimony      134
13. The Trial, Part Three: Final Arguments and Verdict      163
14. Remus Wins His Freedom      171
15. Means, Daugherty and Willebrandt Become Authors      176
16. Beyond Prohibition: Capone Falls and Remus Fights On      187

Chapter Notes      201
Bibliography      207
Index      209