Moe Sedway

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Moe Sedway
NYPD mugshot of Moe Sedway
Morris Sidwirtz

Died1952 (aged 57–58)
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
OccupationMobster, businessman

Moe Sedway (1894–1952) was a Jewish-American businessman and mobster. He was an associate of Bugsy Siegel and a faithful lieutenant of organized crime czar Meyer Lansky. He and Gus Greenbaum made the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas very successful after Siegel's murder.


Moe Sedway was born to a Jewish family[1] as Morris Sidwirtz in 1894 in Poland.

At an early age, he began his criminal career in Manhattan in street gangs with Bugsy Siegel. He had a police record dating as far back as the early 1920s in New York. Later in his criminal career, he began making trips to Las Vegas on Meyer Lansky's behalf in the early 1930s to franchise the syndicate's Trans-America race wire service. By 1945, along with Gus Greenbaum, he was running the El Cortez Hotel with great success.

Sedway was also instrumental in the financing and construction of the Flamingo Hotel when William R. Wilkerson ran into financial difficulties. Sedway saw the Flamingo as unique opportunity for their group to expand operations in Las Vegas. Minutes after Bugsy Siegel's murder, Sedway and Greenbaum took possession of the Flamingo. No one questioned or disputed their authority. Under Sedway and Greenbaum's partnership, the Flamingo became a non-exclusive facility affordable to almost anyone. They made the enterprise extremely successful. In the first year alone, Sedway and Greenbaum turned a $4 million profit.[2] He accurately predicted that the post-war demand for "entertainment" would be enormous. According to his calculations, hordes of gamblers from every state in the union would soon be flooding to Las Vegas.[3]

Sedway served as a Clark County alderman, and was head of the United Jewish Appeal in Las Vegas. He was also on the board of directors of the Clark County Library.

Sedway was married to Beatrice "Bea" Sedway. He died from natural causes in 1952. He is buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

His name was merged with Gus Greenbaum's to inspire the name for the character "Moe Greene" in the American crime drama film The Godfather.


  1. ^ Marschall, John P. (February 1, 2008). Jews in Nevada: A History. University of Nevada Press. p. 173. ISBN 9780874177374.
  2. ^ Wilkerson III, W. R. (2000). The Man Who Invented Las Vegas. Ciro's Books. pp. 111, 115.
  3. ^ Wilkerson III, W. R. (2000). The Man Who Invented Las Vegas. Ciro's Books. pp. 52–59.

Further reading[edit]

  • Denton, Sally Russel and Morris, Roger. The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas and Its Hold on America, 1947–2000. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. ISBN 0-375-40130-X
  • Lacey, Robert. Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life. London: Century, 1991. ISBN 0-7126-2426-0
  • Messick, Hank. Lansky. London: Robert Hale & Company, 1973. ISBN 0-7091-3966-7
  • Reid, Ed and Demaris, Ovid. The Green Felt Jungle. Montreal: Pocket Books, 1964.

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