Mafia, it is oppression, arrogance, greed, enrichment, gain power, hegemony over all, directed against all. It's not just an abstract concept, or state of mind, or literary term ...It is a criminal organization that manages the operation of an unwritten but iron, authoritarian rules ...
Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone
Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone(January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947),"Scarface", was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate. Born in Brooklyn, New York to Italian immigrants, Capone became involved with gang activity at a young age. In his early twenties, he moved to Chicago to make money smuggling illegal alcoholic beverages into the city during Prohibition. He also engaged in various other criminal activities, including bribery of government figures and prostitution. Despite his illegitimate occupation, Capone became a highly visible public figure. Capone was publicly criticized for his supposed involvement in the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, when seven rival gang members were executed. Capone was convicted on federal charges of tax evasion, and sentenced to federal prison. His incarceration included a term at the new Alcatraz federal prison. In the final years of Capone's life, he suffered mental and physical deterioration due to late-stage neurosyphilis, which he had contracted as a youth. On January 25, 1947, he died from cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke.
John Joseph Gotti
John Joseph Gotti, Jr (October 27, 1940 – June 10, 2002) was an American mobster who became the Boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City. He was known for his outspoken personality and flamboyant style, resulting in the nickname, "The Dapper Don." Gotti grew up in poverty. He and his brothers turned to a life of crime at an early age. Operating out of the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, Gotti quickly rose in prominence, becoming one of the crime family's biggest earners and a protege of Gambino family underboss Aniello Dellacroce. After the FBI indicted members of Gotti's crew for selling narcotics, Gotti took advantage of growing dissent over the leadership of the crime family. Fearing that his men and himself would be killed by Gambino crime family Boss Paul Castellano for selling drugs, Gotti organized the murder of Castellano in December 1985 and took over the family shortly thereafter. This left Gotti as the boss of the most powerful crime family in America, which made hundreds of millions of dollars a year from construction, hijacking, loan sharking, gambling, extortion and other criminal activities. In 1992, Gotti was convicted of 13 murders and various other charges and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He died there 10 years later.
Carlo "Don Carlo" Gambino
Carlo "Don Carlo" Gambino, (August 24, 1902 - October 15, 1976) was a Sicilian mafioso who became boss of the Gambino crime family, that still bears his name today. At age 19 in November 1921, using his family connections from his mother's family, the Castellanos, who were already established in New York, Gambino left Palermo, Sicily for America. He was smuggled aboard a freighter among crates of wine, olive oil and anchovies that anchored at Norfolk, Virginia. Never becoming a citizen of the United States, Carlo was on the rise to the top of one of the most powerful American Families. He worked during the era of prohibition as a rum runner, a driver and sitting shotgun, eventually moving to another family working for Joe the Boss Masseria's bootlegging racket. Carlo joined forces with Lucky Luciano to better serve their enterprises, but at 29 Carlo was named a capo of his own crew. After the 1957 Apalachin Convention he unexpectedly seized control of the Commission of La Cosa Nostra in the US. Gambino was known for being low-key and secretive. Gambino served 22 months in prison (1938–39), and lived to the age of 74, when he died of a heart attack in bed, "In a state of grace", according to a priest who had given him the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He had two brothers, Gaspare Gambino, who later married and was never involved with the Mafia, and Paolo Gambino, who was a caporegime in his brother's family.
Constantino Paul "Big Paul" Castellano
Constantino Paul "Big Paul" Castellano (June 26, 1915 – December 16, 1985), also known as "The Howard Hughes of the Mob" and "Big Paulie" (or "PC" to his family), was an American Mafia boss in New York City. Conceited, prone to violence and, unlike most other mobsters in history, painfully lonely, Castellano led Gambino family, the nation's largest Mafia family, for nine years. In 1985, he was one of many Mafia bosses arrested on charges of racketeering, which was to result in the Mafia Commission Trial. In December of that year, while out on bail, Castellano and his bodyguard were shot to death outside Sparks Steak House in Manhattan on the orders of John Gotti.
Joseph Charles Bonanno
"I learned that there is no real power without self-control. I learned that there is no real strength without a pure consciousness. I learned that there is no real prosperity without good family and good friends."
Joseph Charles Bonanno, Sr., smuggler, gunslinger, debt collectors and Mafia don, is always and only thought of himself as a man of honor, a man of honor with tradition in the first place and unsoiled name and reputation above all. Joseph Charles Bonanno, Sr. (January 18, 1905 – May 11, 2002) was a Sicilian-born American mafioso who became the boss of the Bonanno crime family. He was nicknamed "Joe Bananas," a name he despised. In 1983 Bonanno published his autobiography where he explained many details concerning his lifetime. He didn't say much about the drug trade though as he still claimed to be uninvolved. In 1985 he was jailed for 14 months after he refused to answer any question concerning the Mafia. Bonanno eventually died peacefully at the age of 97 on May 12, 2002. 3 years later his youngest son Joseph Jr. died of food poisoning and in 2008 his oldest son, Salvatore, died due to heart failure. The Bonanno family is the only one left in New York which still bares it's original name.
Vito Genovese was born in Rosiglino, Italy on 2th November, 1897. He arrived in the United States in 1913 and by the late 1920s was a leading member of the Lucky Luciano gang. About to be arrested for murder, Genovese returned to Italy in 1937 where he soon became a close friend of Benito Mussolini. After the Second World War, Genovese was brought back to the United States and charged with murder. However, the main witness against him, Peter La Tempa, was murdered while in protective custody and the authorities were forced to release him. After arranging the murder of several gang leaders, including Albert Anastasia in 1957, Genovese established himself as the most important criminal boss in the New York area. In 1958 Genovese was arrested by the police and charged with smuggling and distributing drugs. The following year he was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. Vito Genovese died of a heart attack in the Springfield prison hospital, on 14th February, 1969.
Charlie "Lucky" Luciano
Charlie "Lucky" Luciano ( November 24, 1897 – January 26, 1962) was an Italian mobster born in Sicily. Luciano is considered the father of modern organized crime in the United States for splitting New York City into five different Mafia crime families and the establishment of the first commission. He was the first official boss of the modern Genovese crime family. He was, along with his associate Meyer Lansky, instrumental in the development of the "National Crime Syndicate" in the United States. Luciano became a celebrity, living in high style and having celebrity pals such as actor George Raft and singer Frank Sinatra. His gangster fame caught up with him in 1936, when special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey charged Luciano with 62 counts of compulsory prostitution. Luciano was convicted and sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison. Luciano, who had never lost his position as crime boss, even in prison, popped up in Cuba in 1947 and was again deported to Italy by U.S. officials. As he aged, his influence in the world of organized crime waned, but his celebrity status as one of the most flamboyant and creative criminals in modern history remained. He died of a heart attack in 1962.
Frank Costello, named the Prime Minister of the Underworld, was one of the most powerful and influential mafia bosses. Frank Costello (January 26, 1891 – February 18, 1973) was an Italian New York City gangster who rose to the top of America's underworld, controlled a vast gambling empire across the United States and enjoyed political influence. Nicknamed the "Prime Minister of the Underworld", he became one of the most powerful and influential Mafia bosses in American history, eventually leading the Luciano crime family (later called the Genovese crime family). Costello was in charge of the Mafia after Charles Luciano went to jail up until just after an attempted assassination by Vincent "Vinnie the Chin" Gigante. After serving a few years in jail for tax evasion he lived the rest of his live in Staten Island. In 1973, at age 82, Frank Costello died of a heart attack at a Manhattan hospital.
Salvatore Giancana (June 15, 1908 – June 19, 1975), better known as Sam Giancana, was a Sicilian-American mobster and boss of the Chicago Outfit from 1957-1966. Among his other nicknames were,"Momo", "Mooney," "Sam the Cigar," and "Sammy." Sam Giancana joined the Forty-Two Gang, a juvenile street crew answering to political boss Joseph Esposito. Giancana soon developed a reputation for being an excellent getaway driver, a high earner, and a vicious killer. After Esposito's murder, in which Giancana was allegedly involved, the 42 Gang transformedinto a de facto extension of the Chicago Outfit. In the late 1930s, Giancana became the first 42er to join the Outfit. In 1942, Giancana also allegedly forced jazz musician Tommy Dorsey into letting singer Frank Sinatra out of his contract early, so that Sinatra could expand his career. This story was famously referenced in "The Godfather". Giancana is also credited with the murder of Chicago "Policy King" Theodore Roe in 1952. In his 67 years, Momo crossed paths with celebrities, kings, presidents, dictators, the CIA and the Shah of Iran. He bedded down the most gorgeous women - Monroe, Phyllis McGuire, Judith Campbell Exner and plenty of puttanas. Giancana once boasted to JFK who along with baby bro Bobby, that he had carried on a two-year plus affair with Marilyn and was the last one to play hide the salami with her before her death.
Charles Dean O’Banion
Charles Dean O’Banion (July 8, 1892 — Nov. 10, 1924) was an Irish-American mobster who was the main rival of Johnny Torrio and Al Capone during the brutal Chicago bootleg wars of the 1920s. O’Banion began his criminal career as a safe-cracker, or yegg, and graduated to bootlegging. He eventually became leader of the North Side gang and principal rival to the western empire of Torrio and Capone. But when O’Banion cheated Torrio in a brewery deal, O’Banion paid with his life. One day in 1924, while pruning flowers in his shop at 738 N. State Street, O’Banion was gunned down by Torrio’s men. The murder set off five years of gang warfare.
Meyer Lansky (July 4, 1902 – January 15, 1983), known as the "Mob's Accountant", was a Russian-born American organized crime figure who, along with his associate Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the "National Crime Syndicate" in the United States. For decades he was thought to be one of the most powerful people in the country. Lansky developed a gambling empire which stretched from Saratoga, New York to Miami to Council Bluffs and Las Vegas. It is also said that he oversaw gambling concessions in Cuba. Although a member of the Jewish Mafia, Lansky undoubtedly had strong influence with the Italian Mafia and played a large role in the consolidation of the criminal underworld. By the 1960s Lansky was involved in drug smuggling, pornography, prostitution and extortion. He had also invested heavily in legal businesses such as hotels and golf-courses. It was estimated at the time that his total holdings were worth $300,000,000. In 1970 plans were made to arrest Lansky on suspicion of income-tax evasion. When Lansky heard the news he fled to Israel. He was eventually arrested and returned to the United States but in 1973 he was acquitted of income-tax evasion. Other charges were abandoned because of Lansky's poor health. Meyer Lansky died of lung cancer in Miami Beach, Florida, on 15th May, 1983. It has been estimated that when he died Lansky was worth over $400 million.
George Clarence Moran
George Clarence Moran ( August 21, 1891 – February 25, 1957), better known by the alias "Bugs" Moran, was a Chicago Prohibition-era gangster born in St. Paul, Minnesota. Moran, of Irish and Polish descent, moved to the north side of Chicago when he was 19, where he became affiliated with several gangs. He was incarcerated three times before turning 21. On February 14. 1929, in an event which has become known as the Saint Valentine's Day massacre, seven members of his gang were gunned down in a warehouse, supposedly by Moran's rival Al Capone. He has been credited with popularizing the act of driving by a rival's hangout and spraying it with gunfire, now referred to as a drive-by shooting. Through the 1930's, Moran's power began to wane even though his nemesis, Capone, was now in jail. There may have been one high point in his life in 1936 when 'Machine Gun' Jack McGurn, the brains behind the St. Valentines Day Massacre, was shot dead. Moran's exploits thereafter never amounted to much. His crimes turned petty compared to what they had been in the 20's. He eventually moved to Ohio where he was arrested in July, 1946, for robbing a bank messenger of a paltry $10,000, an amount that would have been loose change for him in his prohibition days. He was convicted and sentenced to ten years. After his release, he was again arrested for an earlier bank raid and sent down for another ten stretch at Leavenworth where he eventually died of cancer in 1957. George 'Bugs' Moran was given a paupers burial in a wooden casket in a potters field just outside the prison.
When Sammy Gravano, known as "Bull", broke Omerta (mafia sacred vow of silence) and gave evidence against his former officers, John Gotti, head of the all-powerful Gambino family, the shock was over all mafia circles. Never before has it happened to someone, who enjoys the respect and privileges of underground, such escape to the other side. No man of this type, never before in history has revealed key information about someone so close, and no one ever, with such a refined sense of detail, provided a complete insight into what happens in the heart of the Cosa Nostra. Involved in nineteen murders, including the murder of his son-Semi-Bull, Gravano is one of the most famous figures in the history of the mafia. Born on 12 March 1945., Salvatore Gravano was the youngest of three children. His parents lived in Bensonhurst in southwest Brooklyn, in place which has become known for one of the grandets mafia funerals ever seen, Frankie Yale's funeral, who was allegedly killed by Al Capone. Since Gravano's imprisonment on drug charges he has been diagnosed with Graves' disease, a thyroid disorder which causes fatigue, weight loss with increased appetite, and hair loss. Gravano appeared at his drug trial missing hair on his head and eyebrows and appeared to have lost a good amount of weight. Sammy Gravano,responsible for the deaths of at least nineteen people, will remain in jail for life...