George Raft FBI Files
127 pages of FBI files covering George Raft, archived on CD-ROM.
George Raft, an entertainer and movie actor, was born on September 27, 1895, in New York. In his earlier days in New York, he was a dancer and speak-easy entertainer. Raft was a childhood friend of Bugsy Siegel. Early in his career, Raft came under the influence of New York bootlegger, bookie, and racketeer, Owney Madden. Under the patronage of Madden, in the late 1920's, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a film career.
Many of his film roles were as gangsters in crime films of the 1930's and 1940's. He was friends with gangsters such as: Benjamin Siegel, Owen Madden, John and Al Capone, Vito Genovese, Frank Costello, Abner Zwillman, Joe Adonis, and Jack Dragna. His film career took off after his role in the 1932 Howard Hughes produced film "Scarface", playing Paul Muni's character's sidekick. Raft appeared in films such as: Queen of the Night Clubs (1929), Scarface (1932), The Bowery (1933), Each Dawn I Die (1939), Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), Some Like it Hot (1959) and Ocean's Eleven (1960).
George Raft is noted for turning down roles that later were taken by Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, High Sierra and the Maltese Falcon. Raft had a famously public relationship in the early 1940s with Betty Garble. His career declined as the popularity of gangster films decreased. During the 60's and 70's, he appeared mostly in smaller budget European films. His final appearance was in the 1980 film, "The Man with Bogart's Face." George Raft died of leukemia on November 24, 1980.
Files contain 111 discernable pages dating from 1944 to 1967.
The files contain summaries of Raft's: Personal history. Associations with Owney Madden; Bugsy Siegel; the Capone Gang; Gambling and the Syndicates; and Vito Genovese. His attempt to get a gambling license in Las Vegas. Summaries of press accounts of Raft and Owney Madden, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, John Capone, Mickey Cohen and Frank Carbo. FBI declared unsubstantiated information concerning Raft and Syndicate connections, personal gambling habits, relationship with Bugsy Sigel, and ownership of a large collection of obscene films.
Files contain memos with information concerning: A high stakes crap game at the home of Brooklyn Dodger manager Leo Durocher in October of 1946. His 1959 travel to Cuba to meet and greet people arriving at the Capri Hotel. Raft was later stopped, searched, and sent back to the United States. In 1969, George Raft was expelled from England, due to his connections with hoodlum elements. Raft's relationship with Senator George Murphy. A letter from broadcaster and columnist Walter Winchell, to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, vouching for Raft's lack of criminality. A letter from Raft to Hoover containing Raft's belief that he was being barred from England because of derogatory information in his FBI file or belief by others that there was derogatory information in the files.
The disc contains a text transcript of all recognizable text embedded into the graphic image of each page of each document, creating a searchable finding aid. Text searches can be done across all files on the disc.