Bumpy Johnson grew up in South Carolina, and a deformation in his head is why he was called Bumpy. His brother was accused of murdering a white man so his family moved to Harlem when he was 10.
Bumpy rose the ranks of the drug game and became one of the most infamous black crime bosses in Harlem. He also worked as a bodyguard for Stephanie St. Clair. She taught him the numbers game.
In the early 1960s, after his return from 10 years in prison, he found the neighbourhood he once ruled in shambles; with the streets controlled by the Italian mob. He took on the Genovese crime family to regain control.
Johnson was under a federal indictment for drug conspiracy when he died of congestive heart failure on July 7, 1968, at the age of 62.
His life is depicted in the crime drama TV series, “Godfather of Harlem.” His character is portrayed by Hollywood actor Forest Whitaker.
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