Polly Adler

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Pearl "Polly" Adler (April 16, 1900 – July 11, 1962) was a Russian-born madam (owner-manager of a brothel) of Jewish descent. Adler was born in Ivanava (nowadays Belarus).

Biography[change | change source]

She opened her first bordello in 1920, under the protection of mobster Dutch Schultz and a friend of mobster Charles "Lucky" Luciano. One building she used was The Majestic at 215 West 75th Street, designed by architects Schwartz and Gross and completed in 1924 with hidden stairways and secret doorways.[1] Her brothel there boasted such patrons as Robert Benchley, New York City mayor Jimmy Walker, and Dutch Schultz.[2]

A House is Not a Home was a 1953 book of Polly Adler's life that was ghosted (written anonymously) by Virginia Faulkner. The 1989 Perry Mason TV-movie Musical Murder revolved around a faux-musical based on Adler.

References[change | change source]

  1. Jacobs, Lisa. "Majestic Towers’ Dirty Little Secret", 215 West 75 Street building newsletter, Winter 2002
  2. Dorothy Parker Society, "Polly Adler's Brothel", Dorothy Parker Society