The Saga of Jack Durantby Mabel Leo, Susie DePinto
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Stories of rustlers, train robbers, gamblers of the wild west became well-known all over the world. Yet, as they grew old and died, another breed took their place in history, gangsters with names such as Capone, Lansky, Luciano, Siegel. Books, movies continue to tell their stories. Yet there is one who is never mention in those books nor seen in movies. He sat at the bar of his Phoenix restaurant for 37 years, keeping his secrets safe, until 1996 when Phoenix author, Mabel Leo, discovered his true identity casing her to write THE SAGA OF JACK DURANT. The popularity of that book caught the attention of playwright Terry Earp who wrote an award-winning play based on Leo’s book and inspired her to write, JACK’S WORLD in which she tells more tales of Jack, including his spirit being seen at the restaurant long after his death. Interest in Jack grew and, after more research, Leo wrote MOB MOLE revealing more of Jack’s life in Las Vegas with the mob. Though Jack Durant died in 1987, his story still lives.
Meet the Author
Calling herself a small town girl from the big city, Mabel Leo's professional writing career began as a newspaper columnist in Florida. When she and her husband moved to Phoenix, Arizona, she gave up writing, and went to work as an Office Manager. In 1988 her husband died and, after a few years, she decided to try writing again as a columnist. Being unknown in Arizona, she needed something no one had done. Friends suggested an article about the customers of a local, well-known restaurant, Durant's. Much had been written about the food, the decor, but not the loyalty of customers to one restaurant. She interviewed the office manager whose stories of Jack Durant filled her with curiosity. Five years later, after finding his ex-wives, receiving his F.B.I. records and countless interviews with those who thought they knew him plus visiting his hometown in Tennessee, She wrote "The Saga of Jack Durant". That spawned an award-winning play & "Jack's World" followed by "MOB MOLE" in which she reveals how a young, uneducated, dirt poor kid from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee made himself valuable to the most powerful and dangerous gangsters of his time.
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