A few lower cholesterol images I found:
John Scalish headstone – Calvary Cemetery
Image by Tim Evanson
Headstone of John T. Scalish in Calvary Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.
Scalish was born in Cleveland in 1912 and raised in the Italian American enclave that centered around the intersection of E. 110th Street and Kinsman Avenue. He was involved with the mob as a teenager, and at the age of 18 held up his first bank. Convicted in 1934 of the robbery of a bottling plant, he served only a few months in prison. Ohio Governor George White commuted his sentence only minutes before White’s term of office ended. (The rumor is that White was bribed to do it.)
Scalish was close friends with Maishe (Milton) Rockman, a local Jewish mobster. Rockman married Scalish’s sister, and Scalish married Rockman’s sister. Angelo Lonardo, whose father Joseph "Big Joe" Lonardo was made mob boss in 1920 and was murdered in 1927, married Scalish’s other sister.
Scalish worked his way up from small-time heists to become a clerk in casinos owned by the Cleveland mob. In time, he became a lieutenant to Alfred "The Owl" Polizzi. When Cleveland mob boss Frank "Ciccio" Milano fled the United States for Mexico, Polizzi took over. Scalish found himself the underboss of the Cleveland crime family. Polizzi was arrested in 1944, avoided conviction, and retired from the Mafia in 1945. With a fortune of about 0 million, he moved to Florida, investing in and construction companies.
Scalish became the new boss. His were the "golden years" for the Cleveland mob, which built an empire of casinos, pinball machines, and loan sharking. The Cleveland mob was so wealthy, it co-funded the construction of Las Vegas casinos, which provided a steady stream of income. Although the state banned gambling in the 1950s, Scalish got into the vending machine business with Rockman and muscled out the competition. He was a decisive leader, and dispensed punishment and rewards with equal swiftness. He allowed subordinates to engage in their own criminal activities and make money, which earned him loyalty.
Scalish moved from Cleveland to Gates Mills Boulevard in Pepper Pike. Many of the Cleveland mob’s top leadership followed him, turning Gates Mills Boulevard between SOM Center and Brainard roads a kind of "embassy row" for organized crime. Scalish lived quietly and conservatively, and was little known outside the underworld. In 1957, he attended the "Apalachin Conference" with 50 other Mafia leaders at a farmhouse near Apalachin, New York. The police busted the conference, making Scalish a nationally known figure. The McClellan Committee subpoenaed him to testify before Congress, and he invoked the Fifth Amendment 35 times.
During the 1960s, several top- and mid-level Mafia leaders in Cleveland died or retired. Many of the up-and-coming low-level "made men" were killed. Not wishing to attract attention after the McClellan investigation, Scalish let the "middle management" of the Cleveland crime family atrophy and grow smaller.
Scalish had been in increasingly ill health since the late 1940s. Bladder cancer forced him to undergo a colostomy. He suffered from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, two diseases which had no treatments until the late 1960s. By 1975, he not only had advanced heart disease but was also suffering from cancer. Scalish underwent heart bypass surgery at the Cleveland Clinic on May 26, 1976. He died a few hours later in the recovery room.
Scalish had refused to name a successor. Capo James T. Licavoli emerged as the new boss. Licavoli not only didn’t want the job, he was a weak leader. Irish mob boss Danny Greene attempted to take over the Cleveland crime family, and a mob war broke out. Greene was finally assassinated by a car bomb on October 6, 1977. FBI informant Jimmy Fratianno eventually ratted out Licavoli, and he was convicted of various racketerring charges in 1982. Licavoli died in prison in 1985. The mob war broke the back of the Cleveland mafia, which never recovered.