Fertitta family history
A century of making headlines
BY HENRY ABBOTT
Not too long ago, someone who works in the NBA wondered aloud to me: “Why did the NBA let a fourth-generation member of a mafia family buy the Rockets?”
It seemed like a breathless secret, the kind of thing you could never put in print—not without interviewing FBI agents and the like.
But it turns out I was wrong. It’s not even a secret. While I did not encounter anyone who suggested Tilman Fertitta is in the mob presently, his family tree is a tangle of magazine articles, FBI busts, books, wiretaps, even a major Hollywood motion picture about the old days of the mob.
The Fertittas are legendary, woven into the incredible history of Galveston, Texas.
Galveston is a little different. It has a reputation as a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, an hour’s drive from Houston, where people go to party.
But like Las Vegas, Galveston has a longstanding reputation for lawlessness. The story begins in the 1800s. From Wikipedia: “The United States outlawed the importation of slaves…
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