Today, the city of Newport, Kentucky is known for its historic East Row District, the World Peace Bell, the Newport Aquarium, Newport on the Levee, “Ride the Ducks,” and the Purple People Bridge. Families can come to Newport for good, family friendly, entertainment. But this was not always the case. Prior to Prohibition, the city offered basic gambling. During Prohibition, rumrunners, speakeasies, and more gambling would appear in Newport. Following Prohibition, illegal gambling would take off in Newport and wouldn’t stop until the 1960s. Prostitution would then take off until well into the 1980s. While the story of organized crime in Newport is vast with many connections among the key players, several of these local and national people were clearly ever-present. One such person was Pete Schmidt. Pete would run and operate five businesses over the course of the gambling period in Newport, and his impact on the city can still be seen today. This paper tells the story of organized crime in Newport as it relates to Pete Schmidt’s venues, and how that history is expressed in the Newport of today.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2012


Jacqueline E. Jay

Mentor Department Affiliation

History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies

Department Name when Degree Awarded