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Organized crime has long been a subject of fascination for the American public. But who are the men behind these vast criminal enterprises? They may be villains of the highest order — brutal murderers, greedy robbers, and scoundrels engaged in all manner of illegal activity — but these men also are the most romanticized and compelling of all American criminals, as evidenced by the sheer amount of film, television and literary work devoted to them. From Al Capone to Charles “Lucky” Luciano and beyond, here’s a brief look at the lives of the nine most notorious mobsters and gangsters of the twentieth century.

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