Goodman was born and raised in Philadelphia, graduated from Haverford College and received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He and his wife Carolyn have four children.
During his career as a defense attorney he represented defendants accused of being some of the leading organized crime figures in Las Vegas, such as Meyer Lansky, Nicky Scarfo, Herbert "Fat Herbie" Blitzstein, Phil Leonetti, former Stardust Casino boss Frank 'Lefty' Rosenthal, and Jamiel "Jimmy" Chagra, a 1970s drug trafficker who was acquitted of ordering the murder of Federal Judge John H. Wood, Jr. One of his notorious clients was reputed Chicago mobster Anthony "Tony the Ant" Spilotro, who was known to have a short and violent temper. In the semi-factual 1995 movie Casino, the character of Nicky Santoro was based on Spilotro and was portrayed by actor Joe Pesci. Goodman had a cameo appearance in the film as himself while defending "Ace Rothstein", a character closely based on Lefty Rosenthal and played by Robert De Niro.
Goodman also represented former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock, who was convicted of accepting illegal campaign contributions and eventually forced to resign. Hedgecock was later cleared of all charges on appeal.
Goodman was a senior partner in the law firm of Goodman & Chesnoff. Goodman currently serves as Of Counsel to Goodman Law Group, a Las Vegas law firm formed by his son, Ross C. Goodman. Goodman was elected mayor of Las Vegas on June 8, 1999, receiving 32,765 (63.76 percent) votes while his opponent, then-Las Vegas City Councilman Arnie Adamsen, received 18,620 (36.24 percent). Goodman was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2003, defeating five opponents and receiving 29,356 (85.72 percent) of the votes. On April 3, 2007, he was re-elected to a third and final term with 26,845 votes (83.69 percent), again defeating five opponents. Las Vegas law prevents the mayor, who has been called the town's "most popular mayor", from serving more than three terms.
Goodman was a member of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority before being elected mayor.
Read more about this topic: Oscar Goodman
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