But thanks to Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, the world has a new Cleveland criminal to ponder. A large portion of Schlosser's latest book -- Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market -- is devoted to Reuben Sturman, an East Side candy-and-tobacco wholesaler who became the Walt Disney of porn. Schlosser recounts how Sturman grew an empire from cheap girlie magazines to internationally financed hardcore films. Word is that, at their peak, Sturman's businesses grossed $1 million a day.
First charged with obscenity in 1964, the cagey Sturman evaded conviction until 1989, when the government finally nailed him for tax evasion. He died at a prison hospital in Kentucky in 1997.
© 2020 Cleveland Scene