Harlem Godfather: The Rap on My Husband, Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson

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Oshun Publishing Company, Incorporated, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 244 pages
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The first and only full biography on legendary Harlem gangster, Bumpy Johnson who was depicted in the movies Cotton Club, Hoodlum and American Gangster Al Capone may have ruled Chicago. Lucky Luciano may have run most of New York City. But from the 1930s to the late 1960s, when it came to Harlem, the undisputed king of the underworld was Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson. Bumpy was a man whose contradictions are still the root of many an argument in Harlem. But there is one thing on which both his supporters and detractors agree in his lifetime, Bumpy was the man in Harlem. Harlem Godfather: The Rap on My Husband, Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson is the first complete biography of a man who for years was Harlem s best kept, and most cherished secret. There is also a full chapter on Madame Stephanie St . Clair, the infamous Harlem numbers banker who instigated the famous fight with Jewish mobster Dutch Schultz. The book is written by Bumpy's widow, Mayme Johnson, and details not only his criminal life but also his personal life. This book also details Bumpy's relationship Harlem dopedealer with Frank Lucas, who has called himself Bumpy's right-hand man, but was -- according to Mrs. Johnson -- little more than a flunky.

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Harlem Godfather

User Review  - mesom - Overstock.com

This was quite an interesting story about Bumpy Johnson even though he did run Harlem in the 30s thru 60s with illegal activities he seemed to be a very caring person. Anyone interested in the gangsters of the time would find this book quite interesting. Read full review

Contents

Foreword
13
and Karen E Quinones Miller
14
Godfather of Harlem
15
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Mayme Hatcher Johnson was born near Durham, North Carolina in 1914. She moved to Harlem in 1938, and worked first as a cleaning woman, then as a hostess for Hagars Barbecue, a restaurant owned by singer Ethel Waters. In April 1948 Mayme met the already infamous Harlem gangster, Bumpy Johnson, and the two married just six months later. Together they raised Ruthie, Mayme s daughter from a previous relationship; and Elease, Bumpy s daughter from a prior relationship. Mayme was married to Bumpy a total of 20 years, and while Bumpy was incarcerated for 10 of those years, the two had a very close relationship, and he shared with her many secrets of his past that he refused to discuss with other people. After Bumpy died in 1968, Mayme remained in Harlem in the apartment they had shared in the Lenox Terrace until 2003, when she moved to Philadelphia. Mayme's favorite pastimes include reading newspapers such as The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Amsterdam News, and watching news programs in order to keep up with current events. She also admits to being a big fan of the show, Judge Judy. Though she has been in Philadelphia for four years, Mayme still stays in close contact with her friends in Harlem, as well as her older brother (95), and her younger sister (90), both of whom still live in North Carolina. She attributes her and her siblings longevity to good genes. To learn more about Mayme, and to her speak on tape, visit the Harlem Godfather website. Karen E. Quinones Miller is the author of Essence Magazine Bestsellers, Satin Doll, I'm Telling, Using What You Got, Ida B.,(which was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award Outstanding Literary Fiction), and Satin Nights. Born and raised in Harlem (she first met Bumpy Johnson when she was eight years old), Miller is also a former staff writer at The Philadelphia Inquirer, a former correspondent for People Magazine, and has written for a series of other magazines, including Don Diva, and The Source. Miller's sixth novel, Passin' - about a young light-skinned African-American woman who decides to pass for white in 2007 New York City is being published by Warner Books in Feb. 2008.

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