Tom Bray

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Tom Bray
Residence Manhattan, New York, United States
Nationality American
Occupation Saloon keeper
Known for New York saloon keeper and underworld figure during the mid-to late 19th century.

Tom Bray (fl. 1850–1890) was an American saloon keeper and underworld figure in New York City during the mid-to late 19th century. He was the owner of a downtown Manhattan dive bar, "Tom Bray's", located on Thompson Street, and which served as an underworld hangout for thieves and bank robbers.[1] The saloon, according to author Frank Moss, was known for its violence as "several men were killed there and a number were badly cut and shot" during its forty years in operation.[2]

A contemporary of Johnny Dobbs, who ran a similar establishment on Mott Street, Bray acted as a fence in the old Fourth Ward and became one of the most successful in the district during his lifetime. Unlike Dobbs, who eventually died penniless after handling $2 million in his criminal career, Bray "banked" his money and was reportedly worth between $200,000[1] and $350,000[2] at the time of his death.[1] As of 1897, "Tom Bray's" was still standing.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Asbury, Herbert. The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the New York Underworld. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1928. (pg. 174) ISBN 1-56025-275-8
  2. ^ a b c Moss, Frank. The American Metropolis from Knickerbocker Days to the Present Time. London: The Authors' Syndicate, 1897. (pg. 17)