“…heroic efforts to capture…”

The New York Times, June 28, 1941

Liquor License For Hero

Weisberg, Figure in Esposito Capture, Will Open a Store

…Leonard Weisberg, the taxi driver who was injured in heroic efforts to capture the Esposito brothers after a midtown hold-up and murder last January…

“Troubles Good-Bye,” Jimmy Liggins And His Drops of Joy; Jimmy Liggins; J. Liggins, 1947

Eighty years ago today: a conclusion of sorts to the midtown Mad Dog Esposito brothers’ story…
A quick review of Leonard Weisberg’s heroics…
(With irreverent, irrelevant, and almost contemporaneous musical accompaniment.)

“Sloppy Drunk,” Walter Brown And Jay McShann’s Quartet; Walter Brown; Brown, 1947

…Not all in the crowd ran. Mr. Weisberg, whose cab was parked in Thirty-Fifth Street, ran up and threw himself on the armed bandit. Esposito shot him in the neck and the taxi driver rolled over onto the sidewalk….
New York Herald Tribune, January 15, 1941

As the wounded bandit [William Esposito] fired, Leonard Weisberg, thirty-six year old taxi driver, of 1577 Carroll Street Brooklyn, jumped on him. The gunman shot him in the neck just before he was captured, the payroll money, in a brown envelope, still in his pocket…
New York Herald Tribune, January 15, 1941

The New York Herald Tribune, January 15, 1941

“I Ain’t Drunk,” Jimmy Liggins, 1954

…A brave taxi driver named Leonard Weisberg lunged full at the spitting gun in an effort to save Maher, who was his friend. But the policeman fell dead and Weisberg writhed on the sidewalk, a bullet in his throat…
LIFE, January 27, 1941

LIFE, January 27, 1941

“I Got Hi,” Frank Ervin and His Band; Hurley; Moore, 1955

Slaughter on Fifth Avenue

…The crowd surged back, then forward. A taxi driver named Leonard Weisberg leaped on the prone gunman. He grabbed for the revolver, missed. Esposito jerked it back a few inches, fired again. Weisberg, clutching his throat, gasping for breath, fell to the sidewalk…

The Espositos went to the hospital, to the line-up, to indictment for murder. Leonard Weisberg, recovering from his throat wound, was promised a new cab of his own and won a hero’s praise. The Nazi press gleefully played up the crime as evidence of democratic depravity.
Time, January 27, 1941

“When I Been Drinking,” Rosetta Howard; Big Three Trio; Broonzy, 1947

The New York Daily News, January 15, 1941

“Thinking and Drinking,” Amos Milburn and his Aladdin Chickenshackers; O. O. Merritt, 1952

The New York Times, January 15, 1941

“When I’ve Been Drinking,” Jay McShann and His Jazz-Men; Numa Lee Davis; Cleophus Curtis; Raymod Taylor; Jay McShann; Albert Wichard, 1945

The New York Herald Tribune, January 16, 1941 [$18 in January 1941 had the same buying power as $343.65 in May 2021.]

“Lips That Touch Liquor Shall Never Touch Mine,” Tiny Hill And His Orchestra; Tiny Hill; Edgin; J. Hill, 1946

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