Over several decades, Abe Minker ingratiated himself and grew close to some of Reading’s most important politicians and power brokers, not the least of whom were several sitting mayors and other top officials in City Hall.
With fistfuls of bribe money in hand, and his silver tongue, old Abe slowly but surely infiltrated their ranks and corrupted more than a few of them. Not that they were very hard to corrupt. Most of Reading’s politicians had larceny running through their veins to begin with.
At one point it became painfully obvious that mob boss Abe Minker was the real “Mayor” of Reading, Pennsylvania. Maybe that’s why Abe eventually gained the nicknames of “The Baron” and “The General.”
Abraham (Abe the Baron) Minker – aka The General, Uncle Abe, Abe Minker, Albert Minker, Edward Minker, Abe Lincoln, Abe Weiner, Nate Weiner, and Avrum Manker – was born Abraham Minker on October 10, 1898, in the Republic of Belarus, which at the time was part of the Russian Empire. In 1904, he immigrated to the United States with his parents, Samuel Minker and Ida (nee’ Clark), and seven siblings: Max, Sadie, Emma, Gertrude, Alec, Isadore, and William.
Upon arriving in America, the Minkers made their way to Reading, Pennsylvania. This is where young Abe and his brothers and sisters would be raised and reared, and later, where he would operate his criminal rackets for decades. By the age of 10, Abe was said to have dropped out of school and started working to help support his parents and their family.