The Cleveland Yellow Cab Co., driven into the ground by Uber and other ride-hailing apps, is shutting its doors after decades of service to the Midwestern city dubbed America’s North Coast. The move signals a massive U-turn, considering that the firm owned for years by Arthur “Mickey” McBride — either the embodiment of the American Dream or a criminal with a veneer of legitimacy, depending on whom you ask — once monopolized Cleveland’s taxi service.
On May 25, 2017, Mickey’s grandson Brian McBride made the big announcement — one that should have been met with sorrow by Cleveland Browns fans, aka the Dawg Pound. Granddad McBride, after all, had not only driven to the top of the taxi game; he also launched the city’s famed football team.
Mickey arrived in Cleveland in 1913 to work as the circulation director for the Cleveland News. He had distinguished himself in his hometown of Chicago, first as a newsboy selling papers on street corners and then in circulation, a business where, as he told a Senate committee investigating organized crime, “You couldn’t be a weakling.” According to an FBI memo obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, “[McBride] directed the operations of strong-arm men in a bitter circulation war.”
I think [McBride] sensed it was an up-and-coming sport and a moneymaking opportunity.
While never convicted of anything, McBride was dogged by allegations of organized crime, particularly with his ownership of a wire service that provided horse racing results — not illegal at the time but of great use to bookies and gangsters. “He wasn’t…
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