The original Little Augie was 1920s New York Jewish gang leader and labor racketeer, Jacob “Little Augie” Orgen. Orgen was born in 1901 and murdered by rival gangsters October 16, 1927, who sought to take over his rackets, just as Orgen had earned his territory by killing his predecessor, Nathan Kaplan, aka Kid Dropper. Bodyguard Legs Diamond was also shot but survived, only to be murdered himself in 1931. Jacob “Little Augie” Orgen’s tombstone may be seen in Mount Judah Cemetery, Queens, New York, USA.
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Other gangland Little Augies include:
- Anthony Carfano AKA “Little Augie Pisano”, murdered September 25, 1959
- August “Little Augie” Del Grazio who was the unwitting subject of an OSS test of THC Acetate or “truth serum” in 1943
Little Augie has since evolved into the archetype of a mid-level gangster, either Jewish or (more frequently) Italian. Little Augie is typically described as running numbers and protection rackets. His name is invoked as the personification of a generic gangster, as in “If you don’t pay up, Little Augie just might pay you a visit.”