Owney "The Killer" Madden was a prominent figure in Manhattan's underworld during Prohibition. In 1923, he took over Club Deluxe, which boxer Jack Johnson  hadopened in 1920, and renamed it The Cotton Club. It was a whites-only club located in Harlem in New York City. Despite the policy of segregation among customers, many famous black entertainers performed at the club, including Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday.