Nucky Thompson himself is based on real life Atlantic City historical figure Nucky Johnson, one of the most powerful political "bosses" and racketeers in America in the 1920s. However, the TV series is a "fictionalized" version, having taken many artistic liberties, especially in terms of his criminal behavior, appearance and marital status. A hulking, towering man with a booming voice, Johnson was an enormously popular, jocular and gregarious man with a flamboyant, womanizing lifestyle. Even after the loss of his political power and his conviction for tax evasion, Johnson never changed his persona, quite different from the physically slight, brooding and sullen public figure Thompson is shown to present after season 1. Like Thompson, Johnson was a dapper dresser who had the signature of wearing a rose in his lapel. The real Nucky Johnson never ran a distillery and was never known to murder anyone or to order anyone else to kill. Johnson was able to co-exist well with organized crime since he allowed it to prosper in Atlantic City for a cut of the profits from the rackets rather than compete with the crime bosses, as Thompson is shown to do. Many of the more prominent gangsters are real, notably Al Capone, Johnny Torrio, Joe Masseria, Waxey Gordon, George Remus, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, Ace Rothstein, Mickey Duffy (Doyle) etc. Other background figures are also real notably US Secretary of State Andrew Mellon, Senator Walter Edge, Gaston Means, Jess Smith, Eddie Cantor, and the stage magician Theodore Hardeen, brother of Harry Houdini and founder of the Magician's Guild. Eddie Kessler, Thompson's butler and driver, is based on Louis Kessel, Johnson's real valet. The Commodore was a real life figure and mentor to Johnson, of the real name of Louis Kuehnle, but his rather disturbing personal history is a fictional invention of the writers. Beyond these particular infamous mobsters, however, a great majority of the characters are fictional. For example, Richard Harrow, Nelson Van Alden, Chalky White, Margaret Schroeder and her family, Jimmy and all other Darmodys are all totally fictional.