Joe Bruno on the Mob – Stephanie St. Clair – The Queen of the Harlem Numbers Rackets

Joe Bruno on the Mob

She was chased out of the Harlem numbers rackets by Dutch Schultz, but when Schultz lay dying from a bullet wound, Stephanie St. Clair had the last laugh.

Stephanie St. Clair was born in 1886, in Marseilles, an island in the East Caribbean. At the age of 26 she immigrated to New York City and settled in Harlem. Almost immediately, she hooked up with the Forty Thieves, a white gang who were in existence since the 1850’s. There is no record of what St. Clair did for the next ten years, but it’s safe to say, considering her ties to the Forty Thieves, a notorious shake-down gang, what she did was anything but legal.

In 1922, St. Clair used $10,000 of her own money and started Harlem’s first numbers rackets. St. Clair was known for having a violent temper and often cursed her underlings out in several languages. When…

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