About the Authors
Rose Laws was born and raised in rural Tennessee. She was educated in small, one-room schoolhouses and went on to graduate high school from the nearest "big" town. She married at a young age and relocated to Chicago. She had five children in eight years. After she divorced in the 1960s, she went on to become an enterprising motel owner in the western Chicago suburb of Addison, Illinois, and began her journey in what she refers to as the hanky-panky business. She was a dedicated single parent who always tried to put her children first. For about four years between 1979 and 1983, Rose took a break and headed south, trying her hand at "straight" work--owning a restaurant, managing a restaurant, teaching hotel employees hostess skills, selling cars, selling funeral needs--in Atlanta and Savannah, before returning to the business she knew best. After nine of the twelve call girls who worked for her in Savannah married clients, she returned to Chicago to start her agent business anew in the place she loved best. She soon took her business from the western suburbs to downtown Chicago where it exploded and she began the life that would eventually lead to the media nickname "Gold Coast Madam." A natural people person, Rose continually expanded her network of wealthy and famous men until her little black book had almost 5,000 names. She estimates she had nearly 1,000 women work for her in her career. She managed to keep her clients and her girls away from the law for many years. In 1988, after accidentally giving information to an undercover cop, Rose was arrested and spent the next four years in and out of court, only to receive a minor sentence. She then opened a flower shop that she ran along with her agent business for the next four years until the IRS shut the florist down because of back taxes due. Rose continued to quietly run and grow her call girl operation in downtown Chicago until 2002 when she was arrested again, but this time by the FBI. She was accused of being part of a nation-wide prostitution ring called The Circuit. Madams around the country had collaborated and were sharing girls and sending them across state lines to work. The FBI closed in and shut the operation down by busting each madam one by one. Rose was sentenced to 22 months in a minimum-security prison in Florida. After serving her time and probation, Rose retired. She now lives with one of her sons in Sarasota, Florida, where she particularly enjoys her long daily walks and spending time with her three grandchildren. She has always wanted to get her life story into print and is looking forward to sharing her life's adventures with readers.
Dianna Harris was born in Topeka, Kansas, and raised on a small farm east of the capital city. After graduating from Washburn University in Topeka with a degree in Communication Arts she moved to the Chicago area to further her career. She spent two decades in advertising and customer communications for the automotive industry and now manages the office and day-to-day operations of a local heating and air-conditioning company. In 1993, she married her soulmate and best friend Sam Gugliuzza. Dianna has always had a passion for all things historical, with a special interest in cemeteries and Chicago history. In 2008, she co-wrote the book Stone Angels about the history behind the artistic headstones of Chicagoland graveyards with her sister-in-law Jeanne Gugliuzza. That was also the year she was approached by Rose Laws, the mother of one of her husband's best childhood friends, asking for help in writing her story. Dianna immediately recognized Rose's importance to Chicago history and welcomed the opportunity to help presesrve this firsthand account for future generations. She spent four years listening to dozens of cassettes of Rose's memories and organizing the notes and papers Rose had collected over a lifetime in order to capture this incredible life story.
Lake Claremont Press authors are
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