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Five Families – Origins

After the death of Giuseppe Masseria in the Casellammarese War, the organization of the “Families” was initiated in 1931 by Salvatore Maranzano.  Maranzano is also credited for creating the familiar Mafia hierarchy of the boss (capofamiliglia), underboss (sotto capo), advisor (consigliere), captain (caporegime), soldier (soldato) and associates.  Maranzano placed himself at the top of the […]

Ralph Capone – Big Brother to Al “Scarface” Capone

Ralph Capone Sr. was born on January 12, 1894 in Angri, Italy. He was one of nine siblings born to Gabriel and Teresa Capone, and the older brother to Al “Scarface” Capone, future boss of the Chicago outfit. Ralph, his brother Vincenzo, and his mother arrived in the United States at Ellis Island on June […]

Lucky Luciano – Organizes The Commission

The 1930’s were a prosperous time for Luciano. With control of the commission he was able to increase his reach in illegal gambling, bootlegging, loan-sharking, and labor rackets. His reign was short lived however and in 1936 he was charged with prostitution after special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey led a raid on 80 New York […]

Carlo Gambino – The End

On July 13, 1967 Gaetano “Tommy” Lucchese developed a fatal brain tumor and died at his home in Long Island. Over 1000 mourners attended his funeral including several levels of Mafia associates, politicians, and placement. Gambino organized the funeral and hand-picked Carmine “Gribbs” Tramunti as Lucchese’s successor. On June 28, 1971 Joe Colombo boss of […]

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