Infamous Mobsters' Belongings, Including Meyer 'The Little Man' Lansky's Medal of Freedom, to Be Auctioned Off

Meyer Lansky mugshot in circa 1935.Meyer Lansky mugshot in circa 1935.
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Several items from notorious mobsters will be up for grabs in California come August.

The Medal of Freedom awarded to mobster Meyer "The Little Man" Lansky by former President Harry S. Truman is set to go to auction in California. 

Lansky was a leader of the National Crime Syndicate, a confederation of organized crime groups that were responsible for hundreds of murders in the 1930s and 1940s, but Lansky and his fellow gangster Charles "Lucky" Luciano were awarded one of the highest civilian honors in the United States, according to CBS News. .

The medal was given to Lansky in a secret 1945 ceremony due to his role in passing information in "Operation Husky" during World War II. The two mobsters passed information and contacts to Allied Forces during the 1943 invasion of Sicily, connecting advancing soldiers with high-ranking members of the Sicilian Mafia. 

According to CBS, one important connection included Calogero "Don Calo" Vizzini. Vizzini helped lead the invading Allies through a difficult mountain pass and provided maps that were integral in defeating Sicily of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

The Medal of Freedom, expected to go for up to $60,000, is one of the many pieces of mobster memorabilia that are coming up for auction. Other items include a letter written by Al Capone while imprisoned at Alcatraz, and personal items owned by Ben "Bugsy" Siegel, a key figure in establishing the Las Vegas strip.

"From the good to the bad to the ugly, this fascinating collection of items taken out of the shadows and ripped from the headlines offers an intriguing look at America's most infamous and colorful underworld figures of organized crime," Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions, said in a statement. 

The auction will feature many items that were exhibited at Jay Bloom’s Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. "Hundreds of personal artifacts from the most infamous gangsters and organized crime family members ... will be on offer, such as jewelry, correspondence, firearms, home movies, hand-written notebooks, and more," a news release from Julien's Auctions said.

The collection is set to go up for auction at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills on Aug. 28.

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