Meet The Real Gangs of Boardwalk Empire

Nucky Thompson
Enoch "Nucky" Thompson: Steve Buscemi's "Nucky" Thompson may be a murdering, bootlegging, Machiavellian racketeer, but his real life equivalent, Atlantic City Republican Enoch L. "Nucky" Johnson, was more modest: a near lifelong teetotaler, he still saw fit to take cuts from local bootlegger profits and managed to land ten years in prison for tax evasion.Macall B. Polay—HBO; AP
Al Capone
Al Capone: Probably the most fictionalized and oft-portrayed of all mobsters, real-life Al Capone's beat was of course Chicago, not Atlantic City. But many critics agree, Stephen Graham's Boardwalk Capone is pretty good, if a little short in stature. Macall B. Polay—HBO; PhotoQuest/Getty Images
Meyer Lansky
Meyer Lansky: The brains behind the infamous National Crime Syndicate, real life Meyer Lansky was born in modern day Belarus (then part of the Russian Empire) and was involved with both the Jewish and Italian mafias. Anatol Yusef's on-screen version hails from Poland, but other than that is very similar. Macall B. Polay—HBO; AP
George Remus
George Remus: Dead ringers for one another, Glenn Fleshler does a good job of portraying real-life George Remus. Remus was a pharmacist who later became a wealthy bootlegger after cashing in on demand for booze during Prohibition, for which he served two years at Atlanta's Federal Penitentiary. Macall B. Polay—HBO; Bettman/Corbis
Gaston Means
Gaston Means: Boardwalk Empire's Gaston Means (played by Stephen Root) may have been ordered to kill associate Jess Smith by Harry Daugherty, but in real life, there is no reason to think this order ever happened. And yet, Means was a skilled con man who was eventually found guilty of grand larceny. Macall B. Polay—HBO; NY Daily News/Getty Images
Harry Daugherty
Harry M. Daugherty: Christopher McDonald's Harry Daugherty is a pretty good approximation of the real life U.S. Attorney General of the same name, who was indicted, but never jailed, on federal charges of fraud.Macall B. Polay—HBO; AP
Arnold Rothstein
Arnold Rothstein: Real-life Arnold Rothstein was a high profile gambler and gangster who famously fixed the 1919 World Series, just like Michael Stuhlbarg's on-screen version.Macall B. Polay—HBO; Bettmann/Corbis
Lucky Luciano
Lucky Luciano: Charles "Lucky" Luciano is often considered the father of modern day organized crime in the U.S., having been instrumental in setting up the National Crime Syndicate with Meyer Lansky. Vincent Piazza's Boardwalk version seems destined for infamy, just like his real-life counterpart. Macall B. Polay—HBO; Popperfoto/Getty Images
Johnny Torrio
John Torrio: Some critics say that John Torrio, Al Capone's predecessor and mentor, was somewhat more sophisticated and image-conscious than Greg Antonacci's Boardwalk version.Macall B. Polay—HBO; Popperfoto/Getty Images
Benny Siegel
Benny Siegel: Young Benny is played by Michael Zegen on the show. Real-life Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was well known as a handsome gangster, gambler and bootlegger, who was behind the development of the Las Vegas strip.Macall B. Polay—HBO; NY Daily News/Getty Images
Dean O'Banion
Dean O'Banion: Irish-American gangster Dean O'Banion, known as Dion O'Banion to many, was something of a rival to both Al Capone and Johnny Torrio, just like Arron Shiver's Boardwalk character. Macall B. Polay—HBO; Chicago History Museum/Getty Images

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