Herbert Asbury

(1889 - 1963)

In 1926 H.L. Mencken’s American Mercury published Herbert Asbury’s short story “Hatrack,” in which a Missouri prostitute entertains clients in her small town’s Protestant and Catholic cemeteries. The magazine was banned and Mencken arrested by the Boston vice squad. Asbury later devoted himself full-time to journalism; his 1928 book The Gangs of New York was the inspiration for the 2002 Martin Scorcese film of the same name.

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