The daughter of one of the most notorious Jewish American mobsters, who was the visionary responsible for creating modern Las Vegas, passed away Friday and was buried in the city her father built.
Millicent Rosen was the eldest daughter of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, and had spent the past years setting the record straight about the personal, intimate side of her father, who had headed notorious, Bugs and Meyer Mob, a precursor to Murder Inc.
She was buried in the city her father created, after Rabbi Mendy Harlig, director of Chabad of Green Valley in Henderson, Nevada, persuaded the family that as a Jew she should not be cremated and sent back to the family mausoleum in New York, and he personally raised the funds for a Jewish funeral.
After he found out who she was and her family connections to Las Vegas, Harlig suggested it would be more appropriate for her to be buried there.
“At that point, I suggested that we bury her here in Las Vegas,” the Chabad rabbi said. “We have a historic Jewish cemetery here, it seemed like a way of completing the circle.”
Rosen, who was 86 when she died and was once married to the son of Meyer Lansky’s associate Morris Rosen, said her father never liked his nickname.
“They say that he tended to get a bit handsy with the machine gun, and that’s why he was called ‘Bugsy,’ but he wasn’t crazy,” Rosen’s daughter Wendy told Chabad.org. The depression-era slang term “bugs” meant “crazy.”
Siegel was murdered in an unsolved gangland hit on June 20, 1947.
In a 2009 interview, Rosen said she knew nothing of the gangster side of her father, but only knew him as her father. She said that he grew up on the Lower East Side of New York in a Jewish family — his father spoke English but his mother knew only Yiddish.
Siegel was also implicated in several murders, and was the basis for the 1991 film “Bugsy,” the story of a mobster who ran up huge debts building the Flamingo.
Siegel built the Flamingo Hotel in 1947, hoping to attract gamblers to the desert town, which at the time numbered only 20,000 people. He told people to buy land in the city, correctly predicting that one day it would be worth millions.