Sidney Korshak, the lawyer identified in congressional testimony as the liaison between Hollywood and the Chicago mob, has died at 88 at his Beverly Hills home.
Korshak died of a heart attack Saturday, family members said, while he was grieving over the death of his brother--a Chicago political leader--just a day earlier.
Marshall Korshak, a former state senator and an attorney for more than 60 years, died Friday in Chicago at age 85.
"Sidney Korshak was probably the most powerful person in the entertainment industry who was not making movies on a day-to-day basis," said Marvin L. Rudnick, a former federal prosecutor of organized crime in Los Angeles.
"He was an attorney, but he never officially practiced in California . . . he basically represented the mob's interest in the business," Rudnick said.
Marjorie Korshak Genson, Marshall Korshak's daughter, said the brothers shared a law practice in Chicago for years before Sidney Korshak left for the West Coast.
Sidney Korshak was the main reason that the New Jersey Casino Control Commission initially rejected the Hilton Hotel Corp.'s request to license an Atlantic City casino in 1985. He worked for Hilton for 10 years before the company severed its ties with him.
He also was linked to the mob by author Dan Moldea in his book, "Dark Victory: Ronald Reagan, MCA and the mob," which focused on the close personal relationship of Korshak and MCA executives.
"He was the businessman side," Rudnick said. "He was the man whose job it was to organize the business to make sure that the 'Mustache Petes' were able to convert their cash into shares of stock in companies."
Genson, of Chicago, acknowledged the accusations against her uncle, but added, "they always said it, but they never got him."
Marshall Korshak, a Democratic insider for many years, had served as Chicago city treasurer and assistant Cook County state's attorney.
"He loved politics," his daughter said. "He loved to talk and to go to the ward office and meet with people. He wanted to help, whether it was the most important individual or a person with little power."
He was elected a state senator in 1950 and served three terms. He served three years as a trustee of the Sanitary District of Greater Chicago and was appointed director of the Illinois Department of Revenue in 1965.
He died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Sidney Korshak was survived by a son, Stuart.
"He was a brilliant businessman and lawyer," Rudnick said, "but he was part of organized crime. And the question will always remain: How did the government miss prosecuting him?
"Was he smarter than the government?" Rudnick said. "Or by the time the government got organized enough to go after him, had he lost too much of his power or just gotten too old?"
Services for both brothers will be private.