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Bumpy johnson

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Big "Bumpy" Johnson (October 31, 1905 – July 7, 1968) was an American Crime Boss in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.

Ellsworth Raymond "Bumpy" Johnson was born in Charleston, South Carolina on October 31, 1905, to Margaret Moultrie and William Johnson. When he was 10, his older brother Willie was accused of killing a white man. Afraid of a possible lynch mob, his parents mortgaged their tiny home to raise money to send Willie up north to live with relatives.[1] Johnson's nickname "Bumpy" is derived from a bump on the back of his head.[2] As Johnson grew older, his parents worried about his short temper and insolence towards whites, and in 1919 he was sent to live with his older sister Mabel in Harlem. Johnson dropped out of high school and began working unruly jobs. Gangster William Hewett started to notice him. Johnson then began working for him and this was a beginning to his life of crime.[3]

Johnson was an associate of numbers queen Madame Stephanie St. Clair.[4] He became St Clair's principal lieutenant in the 1930s. Johnson and St. Clair aimed to start a war against New York mob boss Dutch Schultz. The fight resulted in more than 40 murders and several kidnappings. Eventually the fight on their end was lost, ending with a deal for Johnson.[5]

In 1952, Johnson's activities were reported in the celebrity people section of Jet.[6] That same year, Johnson was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a drug conspiracy conviction related to heroin.[7] Two years later, Jet reported in its crime section that Johnson began his sentence after losing an appeal.[8] He served the majority of that sentence at Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay, California as inmate No. 1117, and was released in 1963 on parole.[9]

Johnson was arrested more than 40 times and served two prison terms for narcotics-related charges. In December 1965, Johnson staged a sit-down strike in a police station, refusing to leave, as a protest against their continued surveillance. He was charged with "refusal to leave a police station" but was acquitted by a judge.[10]

Johnson was under a federal indictment for drug conspiracy when he died of congestive heart failure on July 7, 1968, at the age of 62. He was at Wells Restaurant in Harlem shortly before 2 a.m., and the waitress had just served him coffee, a chicken leg, and hominy grits, when he fell over clutching his chest.[1] He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City.

Bumpy Johnson married Mayme Hatcher in October 1948, just six months after their first meeting.[11] Johnson had two daughters, Ruthie and Elease, the latter of whom was from another relationship. His wife died in May 2009 at the age of 94.[12]

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