Bootblack to bootlegger to billionaire, patriarch Dmitri Mitsidis is never far from his humble origins as a boy off the Greek island of Skyros who ended up on the streets of New York. After surviving a padrone's cruelty, and teaching himself how to read English by begging the men whose boots he shone to teach him new words, Mitsidis saw his chance during Prohibition. Through a family network of Rum Runners and distributors spanning several continents, he created a huge liquor conglomerate after Repeal. But he paid the price in heartbreak, sacrificing those dearest to him in episodes of betrayal and bloodshed. Greek Americans continue to praise Pam Ferguson for writing "their stories".