In the 1950s and 1960s, the Kray Brothers (Ronald Kray and Reginald Kray) perpetrated the most successful organized crime in East London (Pearson 18). Apparently, the Kray Brothers had an Irish, Romany and Jewish ancestry. The brothers were identical twins born on October 24, 1933, by David Kray and Violet Lee (Pearson 18). The Kray Brothers were later raised by their paternal grandfather. Throughout their early and middle childhood, Reginald and Ronald engaged in sibling-rivalry fights, and in 1942 at the ages of 9 years, Reginald almost killed Ronald after hitting him in the head with a metal pipe during a fight (Pearson 21). After seeing their passion in violence, their grandfather decided to enroll the boys in amateur boxing classes. The Kray Brothers achieved success in amateur boxing, and turned professional boxers by the ages of 19 years.
At the advent of the Second World War, the Kray Brothers were conscripted for the National Service and letter transferred into the Army. While in the military services, the Kray Brothers perpetrated numerous cases of assault against police, guards and army sergeants (Campbell 01). Their series of assault was unbecoming, and led to their dishonorable discharge from the military after which they took their criminal tendencies to the streets of East London. In East London, the twins administered a series of organized crimes ranging from protection racketeering and assaults, to arson, robberies and murders (Pearson 57). Through a mixture of unparalleled violence and robberies, the Kray Brothers built a reputation in professional crime that catapulted them to world celebrity status by ages 35 years when they were arrested, charged and sentenced to life imprisonment (Campbell 01).
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The Kray brothers operated a criminal empire which became so powerful and wealthy that it captured the attention of the authorities in England. Despite their world-renowned celebrity status and their vast wealth, the Kray Brothers spent half of their lives in jail, and most of their money were misappropriated and disappeared soon after their imprisonment (Campbell 01). From a business context, the Kray Brothers were successful entrepreneurs while they controlled the streets of East London. However, their entrepreneurial journey was cut short by their arrest. The Kray Brothers were arrested in connection with murders. Word on the street had it that the Kray Brothers personally murdered their enemies (Gerrard, Lee and Smith 74). Thus, the Kray Brothers were blood-thirsty entrepreneurs who concentrated on the day-to-day operations of their business.
In the context of business management, the Kray Brothers operated a centralized structure. The Kray Brothers made all the day-to-day decisions regarding the control and expansion of their criminal empire (Gerrard, Lee and Smith 74). Despite employing dozens of staff members, the Kray Brothers never delegated most of the empire’s tasks. Arguably, the poor delegation skills among the Kray Brothers initiated their downfall. The Kray Brothers never trusted their staff members with the frontline operations of the empire (Gerrard, Lee and Smith 69). Eventually, centralized structure of administration led to the quick collapse of the Kray Empire.
Regarding the legacy, the fascination of the Kray Brothers remain undimmed years after their demise. Through the 2015 films The Rise of the Krays and The Krays: Kill Order, Hollywood has initiated a revival spree on the lives and legacy of the Kray Brothers (Campbell 01). Similarly, books about The Kray Brothers feature among the best-selling pieces of literature in the world. Undeniably, the Kray Brothers left an unparalleled legacy of professional crime. In the business context, the Kray Brothers’ story highlighted the importance of delegating authority in business management.
- Campbell, Duncan. “The selling of the Krays: How two mediocre criminals created their own legend.” The Guardian, September 3, 2015. Web https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/03/the-selling-of-the-krays-how-two-mediocre-criminals-created-their-own-legendlegends
- Gerrard, Peter, Lee, Joe and Smith, Rita. Inside the Kray Family: The Twins’ Cousins tell their story for the First Time. London: Carlton, 2001. Print
- Pearson, John. The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins. Pittsburg: A & C Black Publishing, 2013. Print