Giuseppe “Joe” Magliocco was born in Castellammare del Golfo in Sicily in 1898. Magliocco was related by marriage to consigliere and underboss Salvatore Mussachio, Buffalo crime family boss Stefano Magaddino, Bonanno crime family founder Joseph Bonanno, and his closest confidant, Profaci family founder, Joseph Profaci. When he arrived in the United States he quickly took advantage of his relationships and was soon deep into illegal gambling and union racketeering.
On December 5th, 1928 Magliocco and Profaci attended the meeting of New York mobsters at the Statler Hotel, in Cleveland Ohio. The meeting was called to establish new territories for several New York mobsters after Salvatore D’Aquila boss of a powerful Brooklyn gang was murdered. Profaci was one of several bosses to receive territory. However, before the meeting was over, the Cleveland Police raided the meeting detaining several Mafioso including Magliocco who was the only person charged on an unrelated weapons violation.
As Underboss of the Profaci family, Magliocco was invited to the 1957 Apalachin Conference with Joe Profaci. The meeting was a national meeting with an estimated 100 mobsters in attendance. The city of Apalachin wasn’t used to the traffic so when several dozen vehicles passed through town on their way to Joseph “Joe the Barber” Barbara’s house outside of town, the authorities noticed. Law enforcement assembled a team and raided the meeting. Magliocco and 60 other mobsters were arrested. On January 13, 1960, Magliocco and 21 others were convicted of conspiracy and sentenced to five years in prison. However, an appeals court eventually overturned the convictions. Many say the court and attorneys were bribed, but no one was ever charged.
As the 1950’s came to a close, strife within the Profaci family came to the forefront. Profaci required larger than normal tribute payments to be sent up each week and this upset several high ranking capo’s in the family including the Gallo brothers Joe, Larry, and Albert. The final straw came when Profaci ordered the killing of a Gallo associate Frank Abbatemarco. Business is business, and it’s thought the Gallo’s would have accepted the killing had they received Abbatemarco’s rackets after his death. However, when Profaci didn’t see it that way and distributed Abbatemarco’s rackets elsewhere, the Gallo’s were ready for war.
In February 1961, the Gallos kidnapped Maggliocco, Frank Persico, and then-capo Joseph Colombo. They held the men for several weeks until Profaci agreed to lighten up on the weekly tributes. The Gallo’s then released the three men. Within three months, Profaci reneged on their deal igniting on all out war between Profaci and his followers, and the Gallo’s and their followers.
On June 6, 1962, Profaci died of liver cancer. Magliocco stepped up and became the new acting boss of the Profaci family. However, the Mafia Commission did not endorse him as the new family leader. When Magliocco took over, the Gallo Profaci war was in high gear. There were shootings, bombings, and murder attempts conducted by both sides. Magliocco was no slouch and continued to fight for Profaci after his death. He also wanted to send a message to the other New York families that he was not weak. However, in 1963 with the jailing of Gallo and several associates, the hostilities ended. Magliocco knew it would be difficult for the commission to officially vote him in as the official boss of the Profaci family so when the vote was conducted and Joseph “Joe Bananas” Bonanno, a Profaci capo was awarded the family, Magliocco stepped back into his position as consigliere.
In 1963, Bonanno boss Joe Bananas began plotting to take out the leading members of the commission. Bonanno wanted to take over the National Crime Syndicate. He instructed Magliocco to kill bosses Tommy Lucchese, and Carlo Gambino. For his efforts Magliocco would become Bonanno’s right hand man and partially control organized crime in the United States. Magliocco accepted and gave the contract to kill the two bosses to Colombo family boss Joe Colombo. Seeing an opportunity to better his own standing, Colombo accepted the contract and instead of carrying it out, he went to the commission and ratted Magliocco and Bonanno out.
Upon hearing the news, the commission “sent for” – means to request your attendance to a meeting, where you may not come back alive – Magliocco and Bonanno. Knowing they were likely to be killed for trying to take out the leadership Bonanno quickly went into hiding. Magliocco however, was old school Mafioso. He accepted the request for a meeting and faced the commission and men he was supposed to have killed. He confessed to his role and accepted his punishment, whatever that may be. By this time, Magliocco was in failing health; he had several aliments and was not much of a threat. The commission spared his life, as he wouldn’t live much longer anyway. They fined him $50,000 and asked him to step down as consigliere and go into retirement. Magliocco agreed.
On December 28, 1963, Joseph Magliocco died of a heart attack related to high blood pressure. He is buried in Saint Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York. In 1969 acting on a tip, the authorities exhumed Magliocco after over hearing Florida DeCavalcante crime family boss, Sam DeCavalcante suggest Magliocco was poisoned by Joe Bonanno. After testing was completed, it was determined no traces of poison were found in the body and it was re-interred at Saint Charles. After his death, Joseph Colombo succeeded Magliocco as boss and renamed the family.