|Date of Birth||18 December 1891 , Leeds, England, UK|
|Date of Death||24 April 1965 , Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA (natural causes)|
|Birth Name||Owen Victor Madden|
Mini Bio (1)
Madden didn't always get away with his crimes, however. In 1914 he shot and killed a rival gang member who snitched to the authorities about Madden's criminal activities. This time the police caught two of his accomplices; they quickly confessed and implicated Madden, who was arrested, tried for and convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released on parole after serving nine years, only to discover that his old gang had broken up. He went to work for the Dutch Schultz mob as a soldier in the "Beer Wars" Schultz was engaged in with such gangsters as 'Legs' Diamond and Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll. Madden rose quickly in the Schultz organization, and in 1931 left to go out on his own. He soon became one of the major bootleggers in the city, in partnership with Schultz. He also partnered with two boxing promoters, Bill Duffy and Frenchy DeMange, and soon the three controlled the careers of such boxers as Rocky Marciano, Primo Carnera and Max Baer. Madden took a special interest in Carnera--a huge, hulking brute with virtually no boxing skills--and "arranged" for him to win every fight he was in, until he got a championship bout and took the heavyweight title in 1933. Carnera held the title for almost a year, but when suspicious reporters started nosing around and asking uncomfortable questions, Madden quickly abandoned Carnera, who lost the title in a legitimate fight in 1934 to Baer.
Madden was probably best known for owning the famous Cotton Club in Harlem, a mecca for New York City nightlife in the 1930s. The club originally belonged to famed black prizefighter Jack Johnson, but Madden forced Johnson to sell him the club and then instituted a strict "whites only" policy (all blacks, whether employees or performers, were forbidden to enter by the front door, and no blacks whatsoever were allowed into the club as patrons). In 1932 his old nemesis "Mad Dog" Coll attempted to extort money from Madden and several of his gangster friends. The only thing Coll got was machine-gunned to death in a drive-by shooting shortly thereafter. Madden was questioned by police but denied any knowledge about Coll's killing. However, not long after the incident he was arrested on a parole violation charge and briefly jailed. Police kept pressure on Madden until, in 1935, he finally left New York, settling in Hot Springs, Arkansas, a town notorious for its wide-open attitude toward criminal activities. Madden opened a hotel, spa and casino and kept his hand in the local underworld, but managed to stay out of trouble and the headlines. He died in Hot Springs in 1965, one of the few major gangsters of his time to end his life quietly in bed.
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