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American Mafia Website - New York City Bosses

It would be a mistake to attempt to define geographic limits for New York's five families. Family influence is not confined to a region of the city or even to the entire city itself. The influence of New York families can be felt throughout the Northeast and all across the country. There is certainly no correlation between the five criminal organizations and New York City's five boroughs. Dividing lines exist in formal family membership (though personal allegiance often crosses family boundaries) and in family rackets. Aside from the small regions designated as mob headquarters, there are no meaningful geographic "territories."

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Giuseppe Morello


1895 - Giuseppe Morello (Born Corleone, Sicily, May 2, 1867. Killed New York City, Aug. 15, 1930). Known as "Piddu" (in erroneous reports as "Peter") or "Clutch Hand," Morello led a gang of extortionists and counterfeiters in Italian East Harlem and Manhattan's Lower East Side. With the support of Sicilian/American Mafiosi like Vito Cascioferro, Pasquale Enea and Ignazio Lupo, who became Morello's brother-in-law, and with strong connections to Mafia organizations in New Orleans and Chicago, Morello was able to assemble a sprawling crime fraternity in the New York region and win recognition as Boss of Bosses of the whole U.S. Mafia, perhaps the first man to hold that title. It appears that Morello's New York organization was a conglomeration of smaller Mafia units that allied or merged under his leadership. The organization fragmented upon the 1910 imprisonment of Morello and Lupo following a counterfeiting conviction.

1912 - Fortunato LoMonte (Born July 15, 1869. Killed East Harlem, NY, May 24, 1914.). Fortunato "Charles" LoMonte and his brother Donato "Thomas" LoMonte ran a lucrative feed business in East Harlem and cooperated in rackets with Giosue Gallucci, local political and organized crime leader. Fortunato led a Manhattan Mafia faction that resisted the influence of new boss of bosses Salvatore "Toto" D'Aquila, installed after Giuseppe Morello was imprisoned.

1914 - Thomas LoMonte (Born c1886. Killed East Harlem, NY, Oct. 13, 1915). On May 23, 1914, Fortunato LoMonte was shot several times - twice in the chest and once in the abdomen - on East 108th Street. His assassin was D'Aquila's top gunman, Umberto Valente. LoMonte died of the wounds the following day at Harlem Hospital. His brother Thomas and business partner Ippolito Greco became the most important figures among anti-D'Aquila Mafiosi in the area. Greco was fatally shot in the back on October 8, 1915. Thomas LoMonte was shot to death five days later at 116th Street and First Avenue.

1915 - Vincent Terranova (Born Corleone, Sicily, May 15, 1886. Killed East Harlem, NY, May 8, 1922.). The elimination of the LoMonte brothers left the Terranova brothers - Vincent, Nicholas "Coco," and Ciro - as leaders of the lingering Morello faction in Manhattan. The Terranova's were half-brothers (shared same mother) with Giuseppe Morello. Nicholas Terranova was lured to Brooklyn on September 7, 1916, and killed by Neapolitan gangsters. Vincent was shot to death by D'Aquila forces on May 8, 1922.

The Morello organization had no single linear descendant among the "five families" that took form in New York during the Prohibition Era. Salvatore D'Aquila, said to have once served as a Morello lieutenant, became boss of a Brooklyn- and Bronx-based organization probably led earlier by Lupo. That later became known as the Gambino Crime Family. D'Aquila won the boss of bosses post vacated by Morello's imprisonment. Gaetano Reina, who founded a Bronx-based organization later referred to as the Lucchese Crime Family, had important connections with Morello and may have broken off from the Morellos when the rest of that organization opposed D'Aquila. What became the Genovese Crime Family, initially brought to life through Giuseppe Masseria's opposition to D'Aquila rule, eventually welcomed Morello, his relatives and the parts of his Manhattan organization resistant to D'Aquila rule.



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Stefano Magaddino


1915 - Stefano Magaddino (Born Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Oct. 10, 1891. Died July 19, 1974). Magaddino was a representative of the powerful Bonventre-Bonanno-Magaddino Mafia clan of Castellammare del Golfo. He arrived in the U.S. early in 1909. While he settled in Brooklyn, New York, he did a great deal of traveling and was soon inducted into the Mafia in Chicago. (His reasons for selecting Chicago can only be guessed at.) He soon became leader of a tightly knit but far-flung Castellammarese Mafia organization based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The organization had branches in Manhattan, Buffalo and Endicott, New York, as well as Detroit, Michigan, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Gaspare Milazzo ("Scibilia"), later known as a Detroit Crime Family leader, also looks to have been part of the early Brooklyn Castellammarese family leadership.

Magaddino later left New York City, for Philadelphia and then Buffalo, and established himself as boss of the Buffalo Crime Family. But he remained influential in the Williamsburg organization for many more years. He manipulated the Brooklyn organization well into the reign of his cousin Joseph Bonanno and had a role in an early 1960s rebellion against Bonanno.

Nicola Schiro


1921 - Nicola Schiro (Born c.1880. Disappeared 1930). Schiro led a non-Castellammarese Mafia organization that merged with the Brooklyn Castellammarese family as Stefano Magaddino moved to Buffalo. With the Castellammaresi providing the real strength of the crime family, Schiro became a puppet ruler to the distant Magaddino. In major underworld conflicts - the early 1920s war between D'Aquila and Masseria and the opening stages of the Castellammarese War - Schiro steered a neutral course. This may have been due to his own tendencies or to the influence of Magaddino. As friction between the Castellammaresi and new boss of bosses Giuseppe Masseria grew around 1930, Schiro was criticized within his crime family for pacifism.

1930 - Joseph Parrino (Born Alcamo, Sicily, c.1887. Killed New York City, Jan. 19, 1931). As the majority Castellammaresi in Nicola Schiro's organization began to oppose Joe Masseria, boss Schiro vanished. It appears that he crossed the Atlantic and retired to Sicily. Some believe Masseria exacted a tribute payment from Schiro to end his neutrality and force the crime family into a pro-Masseria stance. Vito Bonventre (Born Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, c1875. Killed Brooklyn, NY, July 15, 1930), a second-cousin of later boss Joseph Bonanno, emerged as the most powerful individual in the crime family. It is uncertain if he was named boss of the organization before he was assassinated. With Schiro gone and Bonventre disposed of, Masseria took the opportunity to insert his own ally, Joe Parrino, into the leadership of the former Schiro organization. Parrino, born in Alcamo (a neighbor of Castellammare del Golfo), was the older brother of a recently murdered Detroit mobster, Rosario (known as "Sam" and "Sasa") Parrino.

Tom Hunt approximation of Maranzano portrait


1930 - Salvatore Maranzano (Born Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, c. 1886. Killed New York City, Sept. 10, 1931). Parrino was unable to hold the crime family together. As the Castellammaresi and their allies rebelled against Masseria, many in Parrino's organization joined a guerrilla group created by Salvatore Maranzano, considered a heroic figure to the Castellammarese underworld. There is no evidence that Maranzano was ever officially given any rank higher than soldier within the former Schiro clan, but Magaddino (established in Buffalo at the time) designated him the New York City war leader of the Castellammarese network. The guerrilla group grew to include other Mafiosi who opposed the tyrannical reign of Giuseppe Masseria, including D'Aquila loyalists from the Mineo (later Gambino) Crime Family.

Upon the January 19, 1930, murder of Parrino in a Manhattan restaurant, the remainder of the old Schiro clan joined Maranzano's war effort. Following the April 1931 assassination of Masseria, Salvatore Maranzano secured for himself the designation of boss of all bosses in the American Mafia. It remains uncertain if he was formally installed as boss of the former Schiro group. Joseph Bonanno's autobiography stated that Maranzano was family boss at the same time that he was boss of bosses. Nicola Gentile and Joseph Valachi had differing views.

Joseph Bonanno


1931 - Joseph Bonanno (Born Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Jan. 18, 1905. Died Tucson, AZ, May 11, 2002). With the Castellammarese War just resolved, Salvatore "Charlie Luciano" Lucania and his allies learned that boss of bosses Maranzano was planning a new war to eliminate them. They arranged the assassination of Maranzano at his Park Avenue offices on Sept. 10, 1931. This may have been done with the approval of leading Castellammarese Mafiosi like Stefano Magaddino and Joseph Bonanno. Either during Maranzano's reign as boss of bosses or immediately following Maranzano's murder, Bonanno became boss of the largely Castellammarese crime family based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He remained the boss for at least the next three decades.

John Morale


1964 - John Joseph "Johnny Burns" Morale (Born New York City, Feb. 18, 1912. Died July 1984). Bonanno traveled to the western United States and to Canada in the early 1960s (some believed he was arranging for the import of narcotics into the United States through Montreal, others suggested he was assembling a source of power and income that was separate from his traditional crime family), leaving Morale behind as acting boss. Bonanno returned to New York briefly and then was apparently kidnaped on Oct. 21, 1964. This followed the exposure of schemes by Bonanno and boss Joseph Magliocco to assassinate two other New York bosses. Information received by federal authorities linked the kidnaping to Stefano Magaddino of Buffalo. Later information revealed that Bonanno was freed after a short time but then remained in hiding from the law and adversaries for many months. John Morale was ill-suited to the boss role and gave way to Bonanno's brother-in-law Frank Labruzzo (Born New York City, July 28, 1911. Died Aug. 7, 1966). Labruzzo managed the crime family during the first few months of Bonanno's absence.

Factional conflict

Gaspare DiGregorio


1965 - Gaspar DiGregorio (Born Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, 1905. Died Smithtown, NY, June 11, 1970). Buffalo crime boss Stefano Magaddino, a former leader of the Brooklyn Castellammarese Mafia, supported the selection of DiGregorio as boss of the Bonanno Family. DiGregorio was a Magaddino brother-in-law and also had a close relationship with Joseph Bonanno (best man at Bonanno's wedding and godfather to his son Salvatore). Bonanno's heir apparent, son and consigliere Salvatore "Bill" Bonanno, retained the allegiance of a portion of the family, and an internal struggle known as "the Banana War" resulted. DiGregorio was in poor health and appeared to have little interest in battling the Bonannos.

1966 - Joseph Bonanno resurfaced in May 1966 to find his crime family deeply divided and excluded from Commission decision-making. Many felt Bonanno should pay with his life for plotting against other Commission members. He demanded that the Commission oppose outside influences in his crime family. After a time, the Commission appears to have tried to appease him. There was great confusion within the organization, and few knew who the actual bosses were. DiGregorio stepped aside as leader of the anti-Bonanno faction.

Paul Sciacca


1966 - Paul "Shack" Sciacca (Born June 15, 1909. Died August 1986). With the support of Joseph Colombo and other Commission members, DiGregorio lieutenant Sciacca was selected late in 1966 as leader of the anti-Bonanno faction. There were some efforts to resolve the conflict in the family, but the division only worsened. In the spring of 1967, informants told the FBI that Joseph Bonanno was refusing to step aside and Sciacca was determined to take over as family boss. In the late summer, members of the Mafia Commission were said to be seriously considering dissolving the Bonanno Crime Family entirely and absorbing its members in good standing into other organizations. In the autumn of 1967, the FBI heard that the Commission gave formal support to Sciacca and left Joseph Bonanno and his son Salvatore the option of remaining with the organization as soldiers. The Bonannos responded violently.

Natale Evola


1968 - Natale Evola (Born New York, Feb. 22, 1907. Died Brooklyn, Aug. 28, 1973). Bonanno retired, reportedly after a heart attack. Some suggest that Bonanno established a new Mafia organization in Arizona and planned to control much of California's underworld from there. The Brooklyn-based Bonanno Family was managed by changing panels of top crime figures. Natale Evola and Philip Rastelli appear to have been the most influential leaders of the period. Evola, a native New Yorker born to a Castellammarese family, eventually took over as boss. It appears that Evola did not have the time (or perhaps the ability) to bring the entire organization under his control. Instability continued within the Bonanno clan for years.

1973 - Philip "Rusty" Rastelli (Born Brooklyn, Jan. 31, 1918. Died Queens, June 24, 1991). Upon Evola's death from cancer in 1973, Philip "Rusty" Rastelli took control of the Bonanno crime family. His first period as boss lasted only a year.

Carmine Galante


1974 - Carmine Galante (Born Feb. 21, 1910. Killed Brooklyn, July 12, 1979). Galante's release from prison allowed him to wrest control of the family from Rastelli. (Some sources indicate that Galante never reached the rank of boss and led only a rebellious wing of Rastelli's family.) As one of the more ambitious and brutal Mafia heads in the United States, Galante immediately became a powerful underworld force and jeopardized the authority of the Commission. Galante reportedly gained wealth through narcotics trafficking and had a base of support that extended into Canada and included immigrant gunmen from Sicily.

Philip Rastelli


1979 - Philip Rastelli. The Rastelli wing of the crime family asserted itself beginning in the late 1970s. Carmine Galante was murdered after a meal at Joe and Mary's Restaurant, 205 Knickerbocker Avenue in Brooklyn, on July 12, 1979. Rastelli, in prison at the time of Galante's murder, regained his status as undisputed boss following a brief power struggle that ended with the murders of three rebellious group leaders. Much of Rastelli's crime family administration was exposed during the FBI's Donnie Brasco undercover operation. Rastelli had additional problems with the law when he regained his liberty, and he was convicted in the late 1980s of racketeering. Management of the crime family passed to Joseph Massino. Rastelli died at age 73 within three weeks of his 1991 humanitarian release from prison.



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1905 - Giuseppe Fontana (Born Villabate, Sicily, c.1852. Killed East Harlem, NY, Nov. 4, 1913). Fontana was a leader of the "Zubbio" Mafia network in the Sicilian communities of Villabate and Bagheria in the 1890s. He, and his political patron Raffaele Palizzolo, were prime suspects in the 1893 Mafia murder of Emanuele Notarbartolo. They were tried and convicted in 1902 but secured new trials on appeal. They were acquitted and released in summer of 1904. The following year, Fontana crossed the Atlantic to settle in New York and become a key figure in the underworld organization of Giuseppe Morello. There is no evidence that Fontana served as a Mafia boss in the U.S., but it appears likely that he commanded fellow Villabate and Bagheria Mafiosi in his adopted homeland. Some Fontana relatives in the Magliocco, Proface (Profaci) and Zarcone families are known to have been involved in underworld activities in New York City and Brooklyn (as well as Chicago and Milwaukee). Following Morello's imprisonment, Fontana threw his weight behind new boss of bosses Salvatore "Toto" D'Aquila around 1912, but Fontana was killed apparently in a factional struggle among former Morello group leaders.

1920 - Salvatore DiBella (Born Palermo, Sicily, Oct. 24, 1878. Died Brooklyn, NY, November 1934.). DiBella commanded a South Brooklyn Mafia unit at the start of the Prohibition Era and possibly earlier. His organization included a number of Mafiosi from the Sicilian communities of Villabate and Bagheria, perhaps remnants of an earlier Fontana crime family.

Joseph Profaci


1925 - Giuseppe Profaci (Born Villabate, Sicily, Oct. 1, 1897. Died Bay Shore, NY, June 6, 1962). Profaci was descended from Mafia leaders in the Sicilian "Zubbio" organization of Villabate, Bagheria and nearby communities, and he was probably already highly regarded by relatives in the U.S. Mafia upon his 1921 immigration. Profaci initially settled in Chicago, where he managed a grocery. As the influence of Brooklyn-based Mafia boss of bosses Salvatore D'Aquila waned, Profaci began to travel again. He took a trip to Sicily in 1925 and then relocated from Chicago to Brooklyn by the middle of 1927. Salvatore DiBella gave way for Profaci to become a crime family boss. Profaci benefited from the demise of Brooklyn crime lord Frankie Yale in 1928, absorbing some of Yale's rackets and followers from South Brooklyn. Profaci and brother-in-law Joseph Magliocco were among the 21 suspicious persons arrested at a national Mafia convention at Cleveland's Hotel Statler in December, 1928. Profaci maintained an outward neutrality during the Castellammarese War, though he was very close to Joseph Bonanno and secretly supported the Castellammarese effort against boss of bosses Joe Masseria.

1958 - Joey Gallo (Born New York, NY, April 6, 1929. Killed New York, NY, April 7, 1972.), his brothers and a number of their associates began to oppose boss Joe Profaci. The Gallo group eventually splintered off from Profaci's family over the boss's perceived abuses of power, and a civil war erupted in the organization. The Gallo grievance reportedly involved unjust Profaci disciplinary "hits," regular fees Profaci assessed against made members of his crime family and Profaci's failure to live up to promises he made to the Gallos. The Gallo revolt won the quiet support of Anthony "Tony Bender" Strollo, a leading figure in the Genovese Crime Family

Joseph Magliocco


1962 - Joseph Magliocco (Born Villabate, Sicily, c. 1897. Died Dec. 28, 1963). Joe Profaci died of cancer at Southside Hospital on Long Island, June 6, 1962. Following Profaci's stated wishes, his brother-in-law Joe Magliocco succeeded him as boss of the family. The Gallo faction disapproved of Magliocco as boss, seeing in him a continuation of Profaci policies, and the Commission withheld its approval. Magliocco was unable to satisfy or eliminate the Gallos and failed to secure backing of Commission members. Meanwhile, support for the Gallos increased.

Joseph Colombo


1963 - Joseph Colombo (Born June 16, 1923. Died May 22, 1978, as a result of wounds suffered in 1971.) Magliocco and Joseph Bonanno felt that rebellions in their crime families were due to the manipulations of other New York underworld bosses. They plotted to assassinate two Mafia bosses who were members of the Commission, Carlo Gambino and Gaetano Lucchese. (They may also have planned to merge their own crime families into a far stronger organization.) The plot was exposed by Joseph Colombo. Bonanno disappeared and was said to have been kidnaped. Magliocco was called before the Commission and forced to resign as crime family boss. He died of natural causes near the end of 1963. John "Sonny" Franzese looked to be next in line for the boss position, but, with the support of Carlo Gambino, Colombo was installed as family boss. It initially appeared that Colombo would be able to reunite the divided organization and satisfy the Gallos that they were being treated fairly. Colombo assigned aging Salvatore Mineo to be his underboss. Carmine Persico, formerly a member of the Gallo revolt, was elevated to capodecina.

Carmine Persico


1971 - Carmine "Snake" Persico (Born Brooklyn, NY, Aug. 8, 1933. Died Durham, NC, March 7, 2019.) A Joe Colombo courtship with the press apparently cost him Carlo Gambino's support just before it cost him his life. Colombo was mortally wounded in 1971, as he prepared to open his well-publicized second annual Italian Unity Day in New York City. Colombo had been organizing an Italian-American Civil Rights League and picketing FBI offices to protest anti-Italian bias. As a result of the gunshot wound, he lapsed into a coma. (He died years later, on May 22, 1978.) Joseph Yacovelli is believed to have made an effort to run the organization while Colombo was incapacitated, but Carmine Persico, known as "the Snake" and "Junior," quickly took over leadership of the family. On April 7, 1972, the Gallo revolt in the family was ended, as "Crazy Joe" Gallo was shot five times in Little Italy's Umberto's Clam House restaurant. Gallo died on the sidewalk outside the eatery on the day after his forty-third birthday. In 1974, authorities suspected that Thomas Salvatore DiBella (Born Brooklyn, NY, Nov. 29, 1905. Died Staten Island, June 10, 1988.), son of earlier boss Salvatore DiBella, held a leadership position in the crime family.


(D'Aquila, Mangano)

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Ignazio Lupo


c1900 - Ignazio "Wolf" Lupo (Born Palermo, Sicily, March 21, 1877. Died Brooklyn, NY, Jan. 13, 1947.). Lupo appears to have pulled together a Mafia organization of Palermitani in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn around the turn of the 20th Century. He may have built upon the earlier underworld organization of Nicola Taranto (Born Palermo, Sicily, Aug. 22, 1848. Died Brooklyn, NY, Feb. 7, 1911.). After entering the U.S. in 1888, Taranto became leader of a Sicilian gang engaged in counterfeiting. In 1896, the forty-eight-year-old Taranta, in poor health, was sentenced to five years in prison for counterfeiting. His leadership role in the underworld seems to have concluded with his imprisonment. He was free by 1900, when the U.S. Census found him selling candy from a Manhattan newsstand. In 1910, he was found to be engaging in palmistry. Taranto died the next year. Lupo, working as an importer and a grocery wholesaler in the 1900s, quickly became close to Giuseppe Morello, boss of a Mafia of Corleonesi in East Harlem and Lower Manhattan. In 1903, the two men became brothers-in-law with Lupo's marriage to Morello's half-sister, Salvatrice Terranova. The marriage of Lupo's sister made him also an in-law of the Palermo-based Gambino clan. Lupo appears to have been related to the Mangano clan through the marriage of his uncle.

1911 - Salvatore D'Aquila (Born Palermo, Sicily, Nov. 7, 1873. Killed New York City, Oct. 10, 1928). Known to his underworld associates as "Toto," Palermo-born D'Aquila arrived in New York by 1904. He reportedly rose up through the ranks of the Morello Mafia, though it is likely he commanded a Palermo-oriented faction in a Morello-led conglomeration of Mafias. D'Aquila had a divided powerbase, with resources in both the Bronx and southern Brooklyn. He originally based his operations in the Bronx. At the height of his power, he relocated to Brooklyn, perhaps taking over remnants of a Lupo organization there. Following the counterfeiting convictions of Morello, Lupo and others in 1910, the Morello New York organization fractured. D'Aquila became the most influential boss of the competing Mafia factions in New York City and secured support from allies around the country for designation as the new boss of bosses. He was unable to incorporate East Harlem and lower Manhattan into his underworld empire and resorted to assassination and gangland warfare in his efforts. Fearful of plots against his administration, he is known to have inserted spies into the administrations of various crime families across the country. Upon Morello's release from prison, D'Aquila created a schism in the New York Mafia by passing a death sentence against Morello loyalists. Years of conflict resulted. Masseria emerged as D'Aquila's strongest adversary. Around 1925, with the war against Masseria virtually lost, D'Aquila abandoned Brooklyn to return to his Bronx roots.

1928 - Manfredi Mineo (Born Palermo, Sicily, Jan. 26, 1880. Killed Bronx, Nov. 5, 1930). Also known as "Alfred" or "Al," Mineo, a produce importer and merchant, was a key early ally of Salvatore D'Aquila and may have led his own Mafia organization within a D'Aquila Mafia conglomeration. The two had a falling out, perhaps over the D'Aquila death sentences against Morello loyalists. Mineo subsequently allied with Giuseppe Masseria during his 1920s war against D'Aquila. After D'Aquila's murder at the corner of Manhattan's Avenue A and 13th Street on Oct. 10, 1928, Masseria supported Mineo's claim as new boss of D'Aquila's large underworld organization. While Mineo succeeded D'Aquila as boss, it is likely that he was resented by a continuing D'Aquila loyalist faction. Mineo's chief lieutenant is believed to have been Bronx-based Steve Ferrigno. Mineo and Ferrigno sided with Masseria during the Castellammarese War.

Frank Scalise


1930 - Frank Scalise (Born Corso Olivuzza, Palermo, c. 1893. Killed Bronx, NY, June 17, 1957). Al Mineo and Steve Ferrigno were ambushed and killed Nov. 5, 1930, in the courtyard of a Bronx apartment building (Alhambra Apartments, 750-60 Pelham Parkway). Mineo's opponents took advantage of his death and prevented the criminal organization from reuniting within the Masseria camp. Frank Scalise, Bronx-based leader of a conservative Sicilian faction, seized control of the family and joined Masseria opponents in the Castellammarese War.



1931 - Vincent Mangano (Born Palermo, Sicily, Dec. 1888. Disappeared 1951). After the conclusion of the Castellammarese War to unseat Masseria, victorious boss of bosses Salvatore Maranzano was himself betrayed and murdered under orders of Charlie Luciano. The strength of Scalise, a Maranzano supporter, was undermined, and the crime family recognized Vincent Mangano as boss. Vincent and his brother Philip had been powerful Brooklyn waterfront racketeers for some time. They had connections to the Mafia of western New York State and were on good terms with Salvatore "Charlie Luciano" Lucania. Former boss Frank Scalise remained an important part of the crime family. In 1951, the Manganos became a focus of the Kefauver Committee investigations in New York City. But the committee could not locate them. Some sources indicate Philip Mangano spoke to federal investigators behind closed doors.

Albert Anastasia


1951 - Albert Anastasia (Born Tropea, Calabria, Italy, Feb. 26, 1902. Killed New York City, Oct. 25, 1957). Philip Mangano was found murdered in 1951, just as his brother Vincent disappeared. Philip's body was discovered April 19 near Jamaica Bay south of Avenue Y in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn. He had been shot three times in the head. Vincent Mangano was never found. Crime family underboss Anastasia, a veteran of Brooklyn underworld violence since the dawn of Prohibition and a top Calabrian racketeer, rose to lead the Mangano family. He appointed Carlo Gambino, a leader of the strong Palermo Sicily-oriented faction in the crime family, to be his underboss. Anastasia was engaged in labor racketeering at the waterfront and reportedly served as the Mafia's overseer of the activities of a Brooklyn-based execution squad the media dubbed Murder, Inc. During Anastasia's reign, he resided in Fort Lee, New Jersey, near the home of Joe Adonis. (Anastasia's Bluff Road residence, near Arcadian Way, was about a quarter mile from Adonis's home on Dearborn Road.)

Carlo Gambino


1957 - Carlo Gambino (Born Palermo, Aug. 24, 1902. Died Massapequa, NY, Oct. 15, 1976). Anastasia was shot to death by unknown assassins in the barber shop of the Manhattan Park Sheraton Hotel on Oct. 25, 1957. He had been making an effort to involve himself in Cuban gambling operations just before his murder. It is believed that underboss Carlo Gambino conspired with powerful Neapolitan underworld leader Vito Genovese and established Cuban gambling racketeers to eliminate Anastasia. Despite opposition from Anastasia loyalists within the crime family, Gambino stepped up to the boss role just before the ill-fated Apalachin underworld convention. Gambino faced strong competition inside and outside his crime family. As Gambino put down a rebellion by Armand Rava and former Anastasia supporters, he was supported outside his family by Genovese. Gambino eventually reconciled with the Anastasia wing of the family by elevating Rava's old friend Aniello Dellacroce to the position of underboss, apparently securing a future return to power for the Anastasia faction. During his reign, Gambino repeatedly interfered in the business of other crime families. By 1975, Gambino was in ill health and allowed his relative Paul Castellano to run day-to-day operations.

Paul Castellano


1976 - Paul Castellano (Born Brooklyn, NY, June 26, 1915. Killed New York City, NY, Dec. 16, 1985). Gambino died of a heart attack on Oct. 15, 1976, and his brother-in-law "Big Paul" Castellano, owner of a Brooklyn meat distributing business, became the next family boss. The old Anastasia wing of the crime family was offended by Castellano's elevation, favoring Aniello Dellacroce for the top spot. Castellano allowed Dellacroce to remain part of the family leadership, even as he betrayed the trust of Dellacroce's faction by grooming Thomas Bilotti as his successor. During the late 1970s, Castellano was the most powerful of New York's Mafia bosses. In his later years, he was a constant target for law enforcement. Federal agents managed to install electronic surveillance in Castellano's home, obtaining compromising and embarrassing information on the crime boss.

John J. Gotti


1986 - John Gotti (Born Bronx, NY, Oct. 27, 1940. Died Springfield, MO, June 10, 2002). Despite decades of friction and disappointment, Aniello Dellacroce kept his faction loyal to Castellano. But, immediately following Dellacroce's Dec. 2, 1985, death, John J. Gotti and other Dellacroce backers begin plotting against Castellano. Castellano and Thomas Bilotti were murdered Dec. 16, 1985, outside of Sparks Steak House in Manhattan. Gotti was brought to trial several times on racketeering charges. His early courtroom successes won him the nickname, "the Teflon Don," as the government could not get its charges to stick. His luck changed in 1992, when turncoat Mafiosi and federal surveillance recordings combined to put him behind bars for the rest of his life. He and his relatives controlled the crime family until his 2002 death from cancer in a federal prison hospital.


(Masseria, Luciano)

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Giuseppe Masseria


1922 - Giuseppe Masseria (Born Menfi, Sicily, Jan. 17, 1886. Killed Brooklyn, April 15, 1931). Vincent Terranova was killed at 116th Street and 2nd Avenue on May 8, 1922, during a conflict between Morello loyalists and the organization of Brooklyn-based boss of bosses Salvatore D'Aquila. "Joe the Boss" Masseria, one-time member of a lower Manhattan burglary ring, became standard-bearer for the remnants of the Morello-Terranova organization. Masseria united underworld forces - including non-Sicilians - in New York, Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland to defeat D'Aquila and his many allies. Masseria became boss of bosses after D'Aquila's murder in 1928. Among his chief advisers were former boss of bosses Giuseppe Morello and former D'Aquila friend Saverio Pollaccia.

Charlie Luciano


1931 - Charlie Luciano (Born Lercara Friddi, Sicily, Nov. 24, 1897. Died Naples, Italy, Jan. 26, 1962). With assistance from Giuseppe Masseria's other lieutenants, Luciano (real name Salvatore Lucania, a.k.a. "Charlie Lucky") betrayed Masseria and had him murdered at Gerardo Scarpato's Nuova Villa Tamaro restaurant at Coney Island on April 15, 1931. Luciano took over the Masseria organization. Vito Genovese, a Neapolitan crime leader with strong support in lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey, became Luciano's second-in-command. After subsequently betraying boss of bosses Salvatore Maranzano, Luciano became the most powerful man in the American Mafia. Maranzano was the last boss of bosses of the American Mafia. Luciano and his allies insisted on the creation of a Commission system for resolving interfamily disputes. The first Commission members were the five bosses of New York City, the boss of Chicago and the boss of Cleveland (Cleveland's boss was quickly pushed off the Commission, and Buffalo's boss was added).

Frank Costello


1937 - Frank Costello (Born Cosenza, Italy, 1891. Died New York City, Feb. 18, 1973). Luciano was convicted of running a prostitution ring in June 1936. Just six months later, his underboss Vito Genovese fled the country to Fascist Italy in order to avoid prosecution for the Ferdinand Boccia murder of Sept. 19, 1934. It is uncertain whether Genovese served as acting boss before he left, a period in which Luciano's legal appeals were being processed. Costello, architect of Mafia gambling rackets, assumed control of the day-to-day operations of the crime family by 1937, though imprisoned Luciano still held the boss designation. Costello's leadership on the Mafia Commission and his strong connections to political figures caused him to be known as the "Prime Minister" of the underworld. In 1946, Charlie Luciano was released from prison and deported to Italy. In his absence, Frank Costello was universally recognized as the family's boss.

Vito Genovese


1957 - Vito Genovese (Born Risigliano near Naples, Nov. 21, 1897. Died Missouri, Feb. 14, 1969). Genovese was apprehended by the U.S. Military in Italy and returned to the U.S. to be tried for murder. The death of key witness helped him avoid conviction. A May 2, 1957, assassination attempt on Costello left Costello wounded and caused him to retire. Genovese became boss but would soon turn day-to-day management of the crime family over to others. He was jailed on drug charges in 1962 and used a number of acting bosses to run the crime family after that. Genovese underboss Gerardo Catena (1902-1905 to 2000) appeared to head a leadership panel from 1962 until Genovese's death in 1969. The group included Tommy Eboli and Genovese's consiglieri Mike Miranda.

Tommy Eboli


1969 - Thomas Eboli (Born Italy, June 13, 1911. Killed Brooklyn, July 16, 1972). Also known as "Tommy Ryan," New Jersey resident and Greenwich Village capodecina Eboli took over the Genovese family upon Genovese's death in prison. Eboli was close to rising Genovese Mafioso Vincent Gigante. When Gigante was a boxer, Eboli served as his manager. As crime family boss, Eboli had an antagonistic relationship with Carlo Gambino.

1972 - Phil Lombardo (Born c.1908. Died 1987). Boss Tommy Eboli was shot to death near his girlfriend's Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home on July 16, 1972. The murder was likely the result of a power struggle influenced by outsiders. Carlo Gambino reportedly hoped to see Frank "Funzi" Tieri (Born Feb. 22, 1904. Died Brooklyn, March 31, 1981) succeed Eboli as the next Genovese boss. Instead the crime family quitely sided with Phil "Benny Squint" Lombardo. Lombardo screened his underworld activities behind front men, including Frank Tieri and Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno (Born, Aug. 15, 1911. Died Rhinebeck, NY, July 27, 1992).

Vincent Gigante


1981 - Vincent Gigante (Born New York City, March 29, 1928. Died Springfield, MO, Dec. 19, 2005). Lombardo retired to Florida, quietly passing control of the family to his consigliere Gigante, known as "the Chin." Gigante, son of Neapolitan immigrants, is believed to have served as the Genovese gunman responsible for the botched hit on Costello in 1957. Like Lombardo, Gigante used Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno (Aug. 15, 1911 to July 27, 1992) as a front man. Gigante also screened his underworld activities by posing in public as mentally ill.


(Reina, Gagliano)

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1920 - Gaetano Reina (Born Corleone, Sicily, 1889-90. Killed Bronx, Feb. 26, 1930). A crime family headquartered in the Bronx appears to have been founded by Gaetano Reina before 1920. Reina may have served earlier as a group leader within the Morello organization and the later D'Aquila crime family of Brooklyn and the Bronx. D'Aquila's mid-1920s decline and 1928 murder may have resulted in the establishment of an independent Reina crime family.

Bonaventuro Pinzolo


1930 - Joseph Pinzolo (Born c.1887. Killed Sept. 9, 1930). Reina was killed on Feb. 26, 1930, outside his girlfriend's apartment building at 1521 Sheridan Avenue in the Bronx. His lieutenants believed boss of bosses Joe Masseria was responsible. Masseria supported his friend Joe Pinzolo as the new head of the Reina clan. However, Reina family group leaders Gaetano Gagliano and Gaetano Lucchese opposed Pinzolo and began to cooperate with Masseria's enemies in the Castellammarese War.

Gaetano Gagliano


1930 - Gaetano Gagliano (Born c.1884. Died 1951). Gagliano and Gaetano Lucchese cooperated on the elimination of Masseria puppet Pinzolo from their organization. Pinzolo was shot to death at a "wine brick" office he shared with Lucchese at 1457 Broadway. Police found his body in Suite 1007, headquarters of California Dry Fruit Importers, with bullets in its left chest and neck. Gagliano took control of the family and used its resources to oppose Masseria.

Tommy Lucchese


1951 - Tommy Lucchese (Born Palermo, Sicily, Dec. 1, 1899. Died Lido Beach, NY, July 13, 1967). Gaetano Gagliano died of natural causes around 1951. The precise date of his death is not known. (In 1952 testimony, Lucchese established that Gagliano was already dead.) Lucchese, also known as "Tommy Brown" and "Three-Finger Brown," took over leadership of the family.

1966 - The Mafia commission began dividing up TommyLucchese's personal rackets after he had been hospitalized for a year following surgery for a brain tumor and treatment for a heart condition.

Carmine Tramunti


1967 - Carmine Tramunti (Born Oct. 1, 1910. Died Flushing, NY, Oct. 15, 1978). Tommy Lucchese died at his Lido beach, Long Island, home on July 13, 1967, after a series of illnesses and operations. Carmine Tramunti (left) briefly took over the Lucchese crime family.

Anthony Corallo


1970 - Antonio Corallo (Born East Harlem, NY, Feb. 12, 1913. Died Springfield, MO, Aug. 23, 2000). Aging Carmine Tramunti apparently continued to serve for a few years as a front for new boss Corallo (right). The actual date of "Tony Ducks" Corallo's takeover is in doubt. Corallo continued to lead the family at least until his 1986 imprisonment.

1986 - Anthony "Buddy" Luongo (Born New York City, NY, Oct. 19, 1939. Disappeared November 1986). With Corallo and his underboss sentenced to prison following the Commission Trial, Luongo attempted to seize leadership of the Lucchese family. He disappeared shortly thereafter and was presumed murdered.