Martin Snyder

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Martin "Moe" Snyder, commonly known as Moe the Gimp due to his lame left leg, was a Jewish-American gangster from Chicago, active in the 1920s and 1930s.

His second wife was the singer and entertainer Ruth Etting, whom he married in 1922 and whose career he aggressively promoted. In 1927, the couple moved to New York City where Etting landed a starring role in the Ziegfeld Follies. After a move to Los Angeles where Etting had a film contract, the couple's marriage fell apart, and they were divorced on November 30, 1937.[1]

In 1938, Snyder shot and wounded Etting's pianist and boyfriend Myrl Alderman; after which, Snyder was charged with kidnapping and attempted murder. In a sensational trial in L.A., he was found guilty and sentenced, but on appeal was released after a year in prison.[2]

Snyder, who claimed to have been born in 1896, was living in Chicago and working in the City Clerk's office in 1972.[3]

Portrayal on film[edit]

Snyder was portrayed by actor James Cagney in the 1955 film Love Me or Leave Me, a fictionalized biography of Etting, who was played by Doris Day.


  • Laura Damuth and Anita Breckbill. "Ruth Etting: Chicago's Sweetheart and L.A.'s Little Lady" in NLA Quarterly, Vol 31. No 4. Winter 2000 pp. 18–23.[1]


  1. ^ "Stage-Air Star Retires From Shows, Matrimony". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. November 15, 1937. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Verdict Reversed In Ruth Etting, Snyder Conflict". Herald-Journal. December 13, 1939. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Movie Partly True". San Antonio Express. May 20, 1972. p. 2. Retrieved August 25, 2014 – via  open access publication - free to read