In 1897, Louis Amberg was born in Brooklyn, New York. Louis, nicknamed “Pretty Amberg,” was the middle sibling of the three criminally-inclined Amberg brothers. Joseph was the eldest, while Herman, nicknamed “Hyman,” was the youngest brother. The Amberg brothers were among the most feared mobsters in Jewish Brooklyn throughout the 1920s and 1930s. They were involved in labor racketeering, gambling, and bootlegging. The Amberg brothers often found themselves in conflict with rivals like Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro, Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, and Abe “Kid Twist” Reles.
Louis was the last surviving Amberg brother following Hyman’s death in a failed jailbreak in 1926 and Joseph’s death in a gangland murder in September 1935, but he would not survive for long. On October 23, 1935, the same day as the assassination of Dutch Schultz, Louis Amberg’s body was found in a burning automobile in Brooklyn, New York. He suffered both shotgun and axe wounds before his death. It is believed that Murder Inc., then managed by Abe Reles, had carried out a contract against Amberg. His girlfriend at the time was Dona Drake, a small-time Hollywood actress. Louis Amberg is buried in Montefiore Cemetery in New York City with his brothers.
Louis Amberg, 2008
Mixed Media Silkscreen on Paper
19″ x 29″