Posts Tagged ‘Dutch Schultz’

Prohibition-era New York’s favorite madam

December 27, 2009

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.

After toiling away in a Brooklyn corset factory, 24-year-old Adler found a more lucrative gig: supplying prostitutes, liquor, and an all-night party to top entertainers, politicians, and gangsters.

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.