Jack Pollack

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James H. "Jack" Pollack (21 October 1899 – 14 March 1977)[1] was an American Democratic politician known for criminal pursuits and interference in court system.

Early life[edit]

Pollack was born in Baltimore, Maryland and lived in a home near the intersection of Wilson and Exeter Streets during his childhood.[1] However, the death of his mother at age 13 and the death of his father at age 15 forced him to quit school and live on the streets.[1] Pollack found his place in the streets of Baltimore through competitive boxing. Pollack travelled the country competing for $1,500 dollar purses in lightweight title fights.[1] At 175 pounds Pollack was a stout fighter who won acclaim for fighting men as much as 40 pounds heavier.[2]

Criminal career[edit]

Pollack also made a name for himself during prohibition as a whiskey-runner. From a residence on West Fayette Street, Pollack organized whiskey smuggling under the claimed profession of "chauffeur".[3] From 1921 to 1926, Pollack was arrested 13 times on charges that ranged from assault to murder.[1] Pollack was charged with the murder of Hugo Caplan in 1921 during the hijacking of a contraband whiskey truck. Two years later, Pollack was acquitted of the charges and the files disappeared from the State's Attorney's office in 1948.[1] Pollack gained some local fame within from his prohibition activities.

Political career[edit]

Pollack gained notoriety and political success during the 1930s with the creation of the Trenton Democratic Club.[1] He used his ties with Baltimore politician William Curran to form a political base amongst area Democrats.[2] Pollack saw major involvement in the Baltimore court system as a tool for political success. His relationships with jurists made him well known for payoffs, bribery, and corruption. In 1954, he beat a charge on obstruction of justice in which he pressured defendants in a series of corruption trials.[4] Pollack was well respected despite some blatant criminal activity while in politics. He was appointed to the Maryland State Athletic Commission in 1933 by Governor Albert Ritchie.[1]


Pollack remained active in politics until his death from cancer on 14 March 1977 at University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Obituary of James H. (Jack) Pollack". Baltimore News-American. Hearst Corporation. 1977-03-14. 
  2. ^ a b Murdock, Rea (1973-10-21). "JACK POLLACK talks POLLA-tics". Baltimore News-American. Hearst Corporation. 
  3. ^ U.S. Bureau of the Census. Fourteenth Census of the United States: 1920-Population. Baltimore, Maryland. 9 January 1920. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/ (accessed October 18, 2009).
  4. ^ Tucker, Richard K. (1954-04-27). "Directed Verdict Of Acquittal Ordered". The Baltimore Sun. 

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