Sally Stanford – Sausalito, CA

The Sally Stanford Story

from Eileen Keremitsis, Ph.D.

  “Sinners never give up!” declared Sally Stanford, after losing her first political campaign.

Sally Stanford broke more rules than most. She married seven times—but never to a Stanford—used more than two dozen names and beat seventeen arrests.

 Sally Stanford Mugshot

Sally Stanford

Preteen: At age seven, she convinced local golfers to let her work as a caddy.

In Her Twenties: During the period when Al Capone was machine-gunning fellow bootleggers, she fed salty roast chickens to her speakeasy customers to heighten their thirst.

In Her Forties: Investing Prohibition profits in Tenderloin hotels, Sally polished her rough edges and climbed uphill (Nob Hill) to become San Francisco’s most successful madam. She kicked out Humphrey Bogart for disorderly conduct, welcomed Errol Flynn, and entertained delegates to the 1945 United Nations organizing conference.

In Her Seventies: Mayor of Sausalito

“In 1985 (three years after she died), the City of Sausalito commissioned a drinking fountain to honor Sally and her dog, Leland. Local potter Eric Norstad constructed a multiple person drinking fountain with a basin inscribed with the words “Have a drink on Sally”. The runoff poured to a long knee length basin that reads “Have a drink on Leland” for the dogs visiting the site. The drinking fountain is located at the Sausalito Ferry Building.”  Wikipedia

Sally Stanford walking her dog Leland – Cal Bear fans have got to love that.


In the novel, Midnight Run 1932, Sally Stanford’s Valhalla is fictitiously used as headquarters for a Marin County bootlegging operation.