Polly Adler was born in Russia in 1900 and immigrated to New York City when she was a teenager. But hers is no typical Ellis Island kind of story.
Adler created clubhouse-like brothels at different locations through the 1920s and 1930s. She ran a house of ill repute in the Majestic Apartments on Central Park West, as well as at other luxe addresses on the Upper East and Upper West Sides.
The famous and important of both sexes (Dorothy Parker was a regular) hung out and mingled. Mayor Jimmy Walker, Joe DiMaggio, and Dutch Schultz reportedly enjoyed the sexual services.
Adler was arrested more than a dozen times, exiting the madam business in the mid-1940s. She attended college, wrote her memoirs, and died in 1962 in Los Angeles.
Tags: Dorothy Parker, Dutch Schultz, Joe DiMaggio, madam of the Depression, Mayor Jimmy Walker, New York City brothels, New York City madams, New York in the 1920s, New York in the Depression, Polly Adler, Sex in New York City