Nucky: The Real Story of the Atlantic City Boardwalk Boss
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Enoch L. “Nucky” Johnson, the Republican powerhouse from Atlantic City, dominated New Jersey’s political landscape in the early part of the 20th century. This book is dedicated to permanently preserving and celebrating his colorful life and legacy before the recollections of his accomplishments disappear and are washed out to sea by the sands of time.
I have taken the liberty of recreating some of the dialogue between Nucky and others. I based these conversations on details I discussed with Nucky during the two-year period I represented him during his criminal fine case. I also used excerpts from Nucky’s testimony before the U.S. Senate in 1928 and in his 1941 criminal trial, along with his depositions in his claim against The Saturday Evening Post and David Niven, and his interviews with the FBI in his application for pardon. These transcripts give us insights into Nucky’s true character through his own words.
Many people also told me about the specific personal incidents they shared with Nucky, and are contained in this book. Marie Boyd, who worked in the Atlantic County Treasurer’s Office, was very close to Nucky and his wife Floss for many years. Boyd attended Nucky’s criminal trial, and she and her husband Jimmy, who was Nucky’s right-hand man, were my longtime clients. Senator Frank S. “Hap” Farley, Nucky’s successor and my law partner for 15 years, also shared a great deal of what he knew and remembered about Nucky. Even John Mooney, head of the Atlantic City Vice Squad, who was my client and friend for most of his life, spoke of Nucky in glowing terms.
I also used the background of the actual events in Nucky’s life, from FBI reports, IRS records, trial transcripts, and others listed in the bibliography. All of these sources served to recreate the real life and times of Enoch L. “Nucky” Johnson.
including as mayor of New York City in 1905 and 1909, as governor of New York in 1906, and as the Democratic presidential nominee in 1904. Moe Annenberg made a fortune through transmitting horse racing results, after receiving approval in 1929 to operate a national wire service to horse rooms throughout the U. S. and in Atlantic City. He was convicted for income tax evasion and became Nucky’s prison mate in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. Annenberg died in 1942, shortly after he was released
near Kentucky Avenue. For a small fee, he offered predictions to the curious on how the heavenly bodies would bring good fortune. Of course, the larger the fee, the bigger the fortune predicted. To keep rhinestone cowboys entertained, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show partnered with Pawnee Bill’s Far East Show at the City Show Grounds off of the Boardwalk at Albany and Atlantic Avenues. All the performers paraded into the arena on horseback carrying colorful flags at the opening before the bull
City. Nucky was a member of The Big Seven, a cartel that controlled the flow of untaxed liquor into the country. Atlantic City was one of the leading ports of entry for illegal liquor on the East Coast, and laws were totally ignored. Many of those who crossed the Delaware River and the salt marshes to the shore were determined to get some Jersey lightning. In order to make Atlantic City grow, Nucky needed cash. And the appreciative gambling fraternity was only too eager to support and to
with Charlie Margiotti, an attorney he wanted Nucky to meet. Having served as attorney general in Pennsylvania, he also was defense counsel in more than 100 homicide cases, had a record of 26 cases ending in verdicts of not guilty, and was very selective about which clients he defended. But one of the main reasons that D’Agostino favored Margiotti, aka “The General,” to defend Nucky was that Margiotti had recently won a case for U.S. Senator James J. Davis from Pennsylvania. The U.S. federal
file from the IRS and FBI, and it looked as though he told the truth even when it was not in his best interest, especially at his trial. He asked Nucky for help in encouraging prisoners to attend classes and get some training, since most prisoners respected Nucky and were likely to listen to him. The warden told Nucky that he was sending him to the doctor for a complete checkup and then to the Catholic priest for a spiritual check-up. Nucky was a Protestant, but was told by the warden there was a