Arnold Rothstein is one of those legends that hang on the tip of the tongue -- "Don't tell me, don't tell me, I know who he is." In "The Last Hours of Mr. Big," Allan May tells us not only who Rothstein was, but why the Big Guy finally shot craps.
by Allan May
Known by many names – A. R., Mr. Big, The Fixer, The Big Bankroll, The Man Uptown, and The Brain - Arnold Rothstein seemed more myth than man. He was Meyer Wolfsheim in "The Great Gatsby" and Nathan Detroit in "Guys and Dolls." He was rumored to be the mastermind of the "Black Sox" scandal, the fixing of the 1919 World Series. Arnold Rothstein was gambling, and Arnold Rothstein was money. He was Mr. Broadway and had his own booth at Lindy’s restaurant in Manhattan where he held court. Many know about the life of Arnold Rothstein; few know the details of his death.
"Man reported shot in Park Central Hotel, Seventh Avenue and 56th Street. Ambulance dispatched."
That was the message recorded at 10:53 p.m. on Sunday, November 4, 1928 by a desk sergeant in Manhattan’s West 47th Street station. By midnight, the information had been updated to show that Arnold Rothstein, 46 years old of 912 Fifth Avenue had been shot in the abdomen and found near the employee’s entrance of the Park Central Hotel.