The life of crime comes with some risks, and sometimes with some serious cash. But the fact is that history and modern society gave us a long list of successful gangsters who raised millions from the life of an outlaw. So, why not come up with a list of the 10 most successful gangsters who ever lived, notorious individuals who scared civilians and police officers alike?
These individuals had a reputation to be the best at what they do, while violating various laws throughout the years. Living in a dangerous and extravagant life, with rivals and the law always coming from behind, these successful gangsters eventually ended up to be caught, dead or in jail. Check it out!
10. Frank Lucas
North Carolina native, Frank Lucas, gained a pretty impressive fortune from drug trafficking, benefiting from the post Vietnam urge for drugs. Creating his own contacts in Vietnam and taking affairs only within the family and close friend, in a matter of time, George Lucas made a pretty massive drug empire that competed the streets of Harlem with other drug trafficking and of course the Italian mafia.
At the height of his operations, after connecting himself with the biggest warlord in Vietnam and trafficking heroin in coffins, he supposedly was making 1 million a day from his New York and New Jersey operations.
9. Jose Figueroa Agosto
This guy is a professional escape artist, who successfully escaped from arrest by creating false papers for his release and in numerous time he managed to shake the police.Bribing and creating alternative identities were his way of escaping, but, Jose Figueroa Agosto didn’t manage to elude the law for much time.
Born in Puerto Rico, Jose Fugueroa started his life of crime early, but his power came with his first kill and slowly he gained all the control over 90% of drugs which pas from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico. With a fortune estimated at 100 million dollars he finally got caught in 2010.
8. Joseph Kennedy
Joseph Kennedy, the father of president John F. Kennedy, Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Senator Ted Kennedy, made the list of the most successful gangsters of all time due to his day in the liquor business. It is a fact that the Prohibition affected Joseph Kennedy’s business and with a fortune standing to disappear, he did something to change that.
After inheriting the whiskey-importing business from his father, he managed to raise his first million by the age of thirty when times got tough he got into the business of bootlegging with some gangsters from New York and Chicago. He made a fortune and maintained his ties with the crime world, using them to influence the political world and fixing elections.
7. Meyer Lansky
With a Forbes count in 400 richest people in the U.S and a net worth of $600 million our number 7 successful gangster is Meyer Lansky.This particular character emigrated to New York and started his crime days by partnering with infamous Bugsy Siegel, with whom he organized a gang of assassins, run liquor smuggling business and other illegal ventures.
By the time he was 30, he was in ties with the biggest names in the American and Italian mafia, creating for them a syndicate and making use of his offshore accounts to launder their money. He was the man behind everything, from money laundry, to narcotics, prostitution, narcotics everything he could get his hands on.
6. Al Capone
Al Capone, a figure that despite the fact that he was raised in a educated family and was sent to school, started with the friendship of crime figure Johnny Torrio. By the age of 20, he acquired the nickname “Scarface” and moved to Chicago were stepped to be the biggest name, the boss of everything illegal in the city.
Running the Chicago Mafia was very successful for him, the illegal alcohol business was filling his pocket with almost $60 million dollars a month in the Prohibition period. He had everything he wanted and most of the rival gangs feared him, due to the fact that he was ruthless and murdered the competition.
5. Griselda Blanco
Griselda Blanco, “The GodMother”, was a fearless drug world leader, and the number of illegalities she committed over her life is countless. Griselda was a dangerous gangster lady that is suspected to have committed over 200 murders while transporting drugs for the Medellin cartel. With a huge part in the Colombian transport to the U.S, she decided to move to the States to be more closer to her shipments.
The Black Widow, had at her peek a net worth of over $2 billion dollars, but this didn’t stop her to kill everything in her path, eventually paying for her sin, being assassinated.
4. Carlos Lehder
Number four is Carlos Lehder, one of the founding leaders of the Medellin Cartel in Columbia. Starting out as a stolen car dealer from his parents shop, a marijuana dealer and drug smuggler he was caught and given a small sentence. In prison he learned about all the ways he could bring drugs to America and by the time he left prison he had countless files that later will give him all the necessary knowledge.
Building up an empire from drug, money was a piece of cake for him and eventually decided to move his operations to a private island in the Bahamas from where he could control everything. His billions were made here, more exactly $2,7 billion, but when he had to leave the island things started to go in a downfall for him, politics and murders tangling his life.
3. Joaquin Guzman Loera
Joaquin Guzman Loera was a drug kingpin who was captured barely in 2014. With a need for money as a little kid, he grew up doing everything to earn more, including growing marijuana and the base material for opium. He was soon part of the most notorious cartel in Mexico and handled a big part of the business for them.
Working in logistics for the cartel gave him the chance to see how everything works and by the time the head of the Sinaloa Cartel was arrested, he took over control. Forbes estimated his fortune worth $5 billion dollars, but the US made it clear that he has to be removed and offer as a bounty $5 million for information regarding him.
Escaping once from a Mexican prison gave him the opportunity to rise in fame and over the next decade, he managed to stay the number one priority of the United States, being number 1 on every list of most wanted men.
2. Amado Carrillo Fuentes
Amado Carrillo Fuente got the handles of the Juarez cartel after murdering his boss. Nicknamed “Lord of the Skies”, he had the biggest fleet of Boeing 727 specially made for his drug deliveries from Columbia to Mexico and to the U.S. Reportedly, some of them even landed in Manhattan making him very rich in a short time and making him a fortune of $25 billion.
In 1997 his life was threatened and as a disparate decision he wanted to change his appearance and on the surgery table for plastic surgery he died a controversial death.
1. Pablo Escobar
A founding member of the Colombian Medellin Cartel, Pablo Escobar was a drug lord who started as a kid to enjoy stealing and by the time we was 20 he started to get involved in cocaine and slowly he built and empire which was smuggling 80% of the total cocaine brought to the U.S. He had a very extravagant life and over the time his name appeared constantly on the list of the richest people on earth his net worth being estimated over $30 billion dollars.
His money came with a very thorough plan that lead him to numerous friend and a larger amount of enemies. While he was funding soccer clubs, charities and other formations for high placed friends, all his rivals and people who were trying to take him out of the business suffered a not so nice end.