Famous Gangsters And Mobsters

John Gotti
John Gotti

Mug Shot

John Joseph Gotti, Jr. (October 27, 1940 – June 10, 2002) was a boss of the Gambino Crime Family, one of the Five Families in New York City.

Early Years
Gotti was involved in street gangs until he began working for the Gambino family in the 60s, fencing stolen goods and hijacking cargo from Northwest and United airlines.

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Joe Adonis
American crime-syndicate boss in New York and New Jersey

Police Photo

Joe Adonis (November 22, 1902 – November 26, 1971) moved from Naples to New York as a child. In the 1920s he began working for Lucky Luciano and participated in the assassin of crime leader, Giuseppe Masseria. With Maseria out of the way, Luciano’s power in organized crime grew and Adonis became a rackets boss.

After being convicted of gambling in 1951, Adonis was sent to prison then later deported to Italy when the authorities discovered he was an illegal alien.

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Albert Anastasia
New York Cosa Nostra Boss

Mug Shot

Albert Anastasia, born Umberto Anastasio, (September 26, 1902 – October 25, 1957) was a Gambino crime family boss in New York known best for his role in running the contract killing gang known as Murder, Inc.

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Liborio Bellomo
Liborio “Barney” Bellomo

Mug Shot

Liborio “Barney” Bellomo (b. January 8, 1957) became a Genovese capo in his 30s and grew quickly to acting boss of the Genovese crime family of New York after Vincent “the Chin” Gigante was indicted on racketeering in 1990.

By 1996, Bellomo was facing charges for racketeering, murder and extortion and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was indicted again for money laundering in 2001 and another four years was added to his prison time.

Due out in 2008, Bellomo again faced racketeering and was indicted along with six other wiseguys on racketeering, extortion, money laundering and for his involvement in the 1998 murder of Genovese capo Ralph Coppola. Bellomo agreed to a plea bargain and received a year and a day longer on his sentence. He is scheduled to be released in 2009.

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Otto
Abbadabba at age 15

Mug Shot

Otto “Abbadabba” Berman was known for his mathematical skills and became the accountant and advisor for gangster Dutch Schultz. He was killed by gunmen hired by Lucky Luciano at the Palace Chophouse tavern in Newark, N.J. in 1935.

This mug shot was taken when he was 15 and arrested for attempted rape, but found not guilty. The next photo was taken in 1935, months before his death.

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Joe Bonanno
Joe Bonanno

Mug Shot

Giuseppe Bonanno (January 18, 1905 – May 12, 2002) was a Sicilian-born American organized crime figure who became the boss of the Bonanno crime family in 1931 until his retirement in 1968. Bonanno was instrumental in forming The Mafia Commission, which was designed to oversee all Mafia activities in the U.S. and serve to resolve conflicts between the Mafia families.

Bonanno was never imprisoned until after he stepped down as the Bonanno family boss. During the 1980s he was sent to prison for obstructing justice and for contempt of court. He died in 2002, at the age of 97.

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Louis
Only
Mob Boss to Be Executed

Mug Shot

Louis “Lepke” Buchalter (Feb. 6, 1897 to March 4, 1944) became the administrative head of “Murder, Incorporated” a group formed to carry out murders for the Mafia. In March of 1940, he was sentenced to a term of 30 years to life for racketeering. He was sent to Leavenworth Penitentiary in April 1940, but was later sentenced to death after Murder Inc. killer Abe “Kid Twist” Reles cooperated with prosecutors in convicting Lepke of murder.

He died in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison on March 4, 1944.

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Tommaso Buscetta
Mafia Turncoat

Mug Shot

Tommaso Buscetta (Palermo, July 13, 1928- New York, April 2, 2000) was one of the first members of the Sicilian Mafia that broke the code of silence and helped authorities prosecute hundreds of Mafia members both in Italy and the U.S. In return for his many testimonies he was allowed to live in the U.S. and was placed in the Witness Protection Program. He died of cancer in 2000.

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Giuseppe Calicchio
Giuseppe Calicchio

Mug Shot

In 1909, Giuseppe Calicchio, an immigrant from Naples, began work for the Morello gang in Highland, New York as a printer and engraver of counterfeit Canadian and US currency. In 1910, the printing plant was raided and Calicchio along with his boss Giuseppe Morello and 12 other gang members were arrested. Calicchio received 17 years hard labor and a $600 fine, but was released in 1915.

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Al Capone
Scarface

Mug Shot

Alphonse Gabriel Capone (January 17, 1899 – January 25, 1947), was an Italian American gangster who became the boss of the criminal organization known as The Chicago Outfit. He made a fortune in bootleg liquor during Prohibition.

His reputation as a ruthless rival in Chicago was solidified after the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre on February 14, 1929, when seven members of the “Bugs” Moran mob were machine-gunned against a garage wall by rivals posing as police.

Capone’s rule over Chicago was stopped in 1931 when he was sent to prison for tax evasion. After his release he was hospitalized for dementia as a result of having advanced syphilis. His years as a mobster were over. Capone died in his house in Florida, never returning to Chicago after his release from prison.

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Paul Castellano
Paul Castellano

Mug Shot

Paul Castellano (June 26, 1915 – December 16, 1985) was the head of the Gambino crime family in New York in 1973 after the death of Carlo Gambino. In 1983 the F.B.I. wired Castellano’s house and obtained over 600 hours of Castellano discussing mob business.

Because of the tapes Castellano was arrested for ordering the murders of 24 people and was freed on bail. Just months later he and several crime family bosses were arrested based on information from the tapes in what became known as the Mafia Commission Trial, designed to connect Mafia mobsters to the construction business.

It is believed by many that John Gotti hated Castellano and ordered his murder which was carried out on Dec. 16, 1985, outside Sparks Steak House in Manhattan.

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Antonio Cecala
Antonio Cecala

Mug Shot

In 1908, Antonio Cecala was a counterfeiter working for Giuseppe Morello. His career was short lived after he was convicted in 1909 of conterfeiting and sentenced to 15 years and a $1,000 fine.

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Frank Costello
Prime Minister of the Underworld

Mug Shot

Frank Costello, head of the Luciano crime family between 1936 and 1957, was one of the most powerful Mafia bosses in U.S. history. He had control over much of the gambling and bootlegging activities across the country and had gained more political influence than any other Mafia figure. As a leader of what authorities referred to as the “Rolls-Royce of organized crime”, Costello preferred to lead with his brain rather than muscle.

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Michael DeLeonardo
Michael DeLeonardo

Mug Shot

Michael “Mickey Scars” DeLeonardo (b. 1955) was a New York gangster who at one time was a captain for the Gambino crime family. In 2002 he had a falling out with the Family boss, Peter Gotti, for hiding family money. Also in 2002 he was indicted on labor racketeering, extortion, loan sharking, witness tampering, and the murders of Gambino associate Frank Hydell and Fred Weiss.

After a failed suicide attempt, DeLeonardo decided to go into the Witness Protection Program and provided the federal government with damaging testimony against Peter Gotti, Anthony “Sonny” Ciccone, Louis “Big Lou” Vallario, Frank Fappiano, Richard V. Gotti, Richard G. Gotti, and Michael Yanotti, John Gotti, Jr., Alphonse “Allie Boy” Persico and underboss John “Jackie” DeRoss.

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Thomas Eboli
Thomas Eboli

Mug Shot

Thomas “Tommy Ryan” Eboli (b. June 13, 1911 – July 16, 1972) was a New York City mobster, known for being the acting boss of the Genovese crime family from 1960 through 1969. Eboli was murdered in 1972, allegedly after he was unable to repay Carlo Gambino $4 million dollars he had borrowed for a drug deal, much of which authorities seized in a raid.

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Benjamin Fein
American Gangster

Mug Shot

Benjamin Fein was born in New York City in 1889. He grew up in a poor neighborhood on the Lower East Side and participated in gang activity most of his life. As a child he was a petty thief and as an adult he became a notorius gangster who dominated New York labor racketeering in the 1910s.

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Gaetano
Boss for the Lucchese crime family

Mug Shop

Gaetano “Tommy” Gagliano (1884 – 16 February 1951) served as a low-profile Mafia boss for the Lucchese crime family, one of the most notorious “Five Families” in New York. He served for 20 years before turning the leadership over to Underboss, Gaetano “Tommy” Lucchese in 1951.

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Carlo Gambino
Carlo Gambino

Mug Shots

Carlo Gambino came from Sicily in 1921 at the age of 19. A seasoned gang member, he immediately began his growth up the New York Mafia ladder. He worked in gangs led by Joe “the Boss” Masseria, Salvatore Maranzano, Philip and Vincent Mangano, and Albert Anastasia. After the murder of Anatasia in 1957, Gambino became the head of the family, and changed the name of the organization from D’Aquila to Gambino. Known as the Boss of Bosses, Carlo Gambino grew to be one of the most powerful Mafia bosses of all time. He died of heart failure at age 74 in 1976.

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Vito Genovese
Vito Genovese (November 27, 1897 – February 14, 1969)

Mug Shot

Vito Genovese rose from the Lower East Side gangs as a teen to becoming the boss of the Genovese crime family. His 40-year relationship with Charlie “Lucky” Luciano gained him the position as Luciano’s underboss in 1931. Had it not been for murder charges which sent Genovese into hiding in Italy, he would have most likely taken over as head of the family when Lucia was sent to prison in 1936. It was not until his return to the U.S. and after key Mafia players were killed, that Genovese would become “Don Vito” the powerful boss of the Genovese family.

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Vincent GiganteVincent Gigante

Mug Shot

Vincent “The Chin” Gigante (March 29, 1928 – December 19, 2005) went from the boxing ring to a New York mobster who headed the Genovese crime family.

Dubbed “the Oddfather,” by the press, Gigante faked mental illness in order to avoid prosecution. He was often seen wondering Greenwich Village in New York City in his bathrobe and slippers, mumbling incoherently to himself.

The act helped him avoid prosecution for his crimes until 1997 when he was convicted of racketeering and conspiracy charges. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but had an additional three years added on when he pleaded guilty to faking his mental illness. Gigante died in prison in 2005.

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John Gotti
John Gotti

Mug Shots

By age 31, Gotti was an acting capo for the Gambino family. Against the rules of the family, Gotti and his crew were dealing in heroin. When it was found out, family boss Paul Castellano wanted the crew broken up and possibly killed. Instead, Gotti and others organized the killing of Castellano who was shot six times in a Manhattan restaurant. Gotti then took over as the Gambino family boss and remained so until his death in 2002.

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John
John “Junior” Gotti

Mug Shot

John Angelo Gotti (born February 14, 1964) is the son of the now deceased Gambino crime boss John Gotti. Allegedly Junior Gotti was a capo in the Gambino family and was the acting boss when during times his father was in prison. In 1999 Junior Gotti was arrested and found guilty on racketeering charges and was sentenced to six years in prison.

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Salvatore Gravano
Salvatore Gravano

Mug Shot

Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano (born March 12, 1945) became an Underboss of the Gambino crime family after teaming up with John Gotti in planning and executing the murder of Paul Castellano, the then-Gambino boss. After Castellano’s murder, Gotti moved into the top position and Gravano moved in as his Underboss.

In 1991, a F.B.I. investigation led to the arrest of several key players in the Gambino family including Gotti and Gravano. Looking at a long prison sentence, Gravano became a government witness in exchange for a lighter sentence. His testimony against Gotti, which included admitting to their taking part in 19 murders, resulted in a conviction and life sentence for John Gotti.

His nickname “Sammy the Bull” quickly changed to “King Rat” among his peers after his testimony. For awhile he was in the U.S. protection program, but left it in 1995.

After leaving the U.S. federal Witness Protection Program in 1995, Gravano moved to Arizona and started trafficking in ecstasy. In 2000, he was arrested and convicted of drug trafficking and received a 19-year sentence. His son was also convicted for his participation in the ecstasy drug ring.

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Henry Hill
Henry Hill

1980 F.B.I. Mug Shot

Henry Hill grew up in Brooklyn, New York and at an early age ran errands for the local Lucchese crime family.

Being of Italian and Irish decent, Hill was never “made” into the crime family, but was a soldier of capo, Paul Vario, and participated in hijacking trucks, loan sharking, bookmaking and took part in the infamous 1978 Lufthansa Air heist.

After Hill’s close friend Tommy DeSimone vanished and he ignored warnings from his associates to stop dealing drugs, Hill became paranoid that he would soon be killed and became an F.B.I. informant. His testimony aided in the conviction of 50 criminals.

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Meyer Lansky
Meyer Lansky

Mug Shot

Meyer Lansky (born Majer Suchowlinski, July 4, 1902 – January 15, 1983) was a major figure in organized crime in the U.S. Referred to often as the “Godfather of Godfathers”, Lansky, along with Charles Luciano, was responsible for the development of The Commission, the governing body of the Mafia in the U.S. It is also said that Lansky was responsible for Murder, Inc., a group that carried out murders for the crime families.

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Joseph Lanza
Joseph Lanza

Mug Shot

Joseph A. “Socks” Lanza (1904-October 11, 1968) was a member of the Genovese crime family and head of the Local 359 United Seafood Workers union. He was convicted of labor racketeering and later for extortion, which he was sentenced seven to 10 years in prison.

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Phillip Leonetti
Phillip Leonetti

Mug Shot

Phillip Leonetti (b. March 27, 1953) seemed to pattern his life after his uncle, Philadelphia crime family boss Nicodemo Scarfo. In the 1980s, Leonetti was moving through the family crime ranks as a mob hitman, capo and then underboss to Scarfo.

After receiving a 55-year prison sentence in 1988 on murder and racketeering charges, Leonetti decided to work with the federal government as an informant. His testimony resulted in the convictions of high-ranking mobsters including John Gotti. In return for his cooperation he was released from prison after serving only five years.

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Samuel Levine
Samuel Levine

Mug Shot

Samuel “Red” Levine (b. 1903) was member of the Mafia gang, Murder, Inc., a notorious group created to carry out murders for the Mafia. Levine’s list of victims included Joe “The Boss” Masseria, Albert “Mad Hatter” Anastasia and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel

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Charles Luciano
Charles Luciano

Mug Shots

Charles “Lucky” Luciano (born Salvatore Lucania) (November 24, 1897 – January 26, 1962) was a Sicilian-American mobster who grew to be one of the most powerful men in organized crime. To this day his influence over the gangster activity in the U.S. still exists.

He was the first person to challenge the “old Mafia” by breaking through ethnic barriers and creating a network of gangs, which made up the national crime syndicate and controlled organized crime long past his death.

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Ignazio Lupo
Ignazio Lupo

Mug Shot

Ignazio Lupo (March 19, 1877 – Jan. 13, 1947) became a powerful and dangerous crime leader in the early-1900s and is known for being responsible for organizing and setting up Mafia leadership in New York. He has been credited with running one of the most notorious Black Hand extortion gangs, but lost most of his power after being convicted on counterfeiting charges.

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Vincent Mangano
Vincent Mangano

Mug Shot

Vincent Mangano (March 28, 1888 – April 19, 1951) got his start with the Mafia controlling the Brooklyn docks for The D’Aquila crime family in the 1920s. After crime boss Toto D’Aquila was killed and the Commission was formed, Lucky Luciano appointed Mangano as the boss of the D’Aquila family along with allowing him to serve on the Commission.

Mangano and his underboss, Albert “Mad Hatter” Anastasia, clashed regularly over how the family business should run. This led to Mangano’s demise, and in 1951 he disappeared and his younger rival, Anastasia, took over the family.

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Giuseppe Masseria
Giuseppe Masseria

Mug Shot

Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria (c. 1887–April 15, 1931) was the head crime boss of New York City during the 1920s until he was shot to death, seemingly on the orders of Charlie Luciano at a restaurant in Coney Island in 1931.

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Joseph C. Massino
Joseph C. Massino

Mug Shot

Joseph C. Massino (January 10, 1943) dubbed by the media as The Last Don, was the head of the Bonanno crime family starting in 1993 until he was convicted in July 2004, of racketeering, murder, extortion and other similar crimes. To avoid the death penalty Massiono cooperated with investigators and recorded a coversation with his successor, Vincent Basciano, discussing Basciano’s plan to kill a prosecutor. He is currently serving two life sentences.

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Giuseppe Morello
Giuseppe Morello

Mug Shot

Giuseppe Morello (May 2, 1867 – Aug. 15, 1930) came to the U.S. in the early 1900s and set up the Morello Mob, which specialized in counterfeiting until 1909 when Morello and several of his gang were arrested and sent to prison.

Morello was released from prison in 1920 and returned to New York and became a powerful Mafia “boss of all bosses.” He made money for the family with Black Hand extortion and counterfeiting.

Morello’s leadership style was considered too conservative by many of the up and coming Mafia players and in 1930 he was murdered.

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Bugsy SiegelBugsy Siegel

Mug Shot

Benjamin Siegel (February 28, 1906 – June 20, 1947) was a career gangster who dealt in gambling rackets, bootlegging, car theft and murder with childhood friend, Meyer Lansky, in what became known as the “Bug and Meyer” syndicate.

In 1937 Siegal moved to Hollywood and enjoyed a lavish life, mingling in impressive Hollywood circles while continuing his illegal gambling activity. He invested heavily into building the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, with money borrowed from the mob. He was eventually shot and killed when he failed to turn a profit quickly enough and pay back the money.

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Ciro Terranova
Ciro Terranova

Mug Shot

Ciro Terranova (1889-February 20, 1938) was a one time leader of the Morello crime family in New York. He earned a lot of money and his nickname “The Artichoke King” by controlling the produce in New York City. Terranova was also involved in narcotics, but managed to maintain good relations with corrupt New York police and politicians. By 1935, Charlie Luciano took over Terranova’s produce rackets, rendering Terranova financially bankrupt. He died from a stroke on Feb. 20, 1938.

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Joe Valachi
Joe Valachi “Joe Cargo”

Congressional Photo

Joseph Michael Valachi was a member of Lucky Luciano’s crime family from the 1930s until 1959 when he was convicted on narcotics charges and sentenced to 15 years.

In 1963, Valachi became a key witness for Arkansas Senator John L. McClellan’s congressional committee on organized crime. His testimony confirmed the existence of the Mafia and exposed the names of several members of the five New York crime families and gave graphic details of their criminal activities.

In 1968, with author Peter Maas, he published his memoirs, The Valachi Papers, which was later turned into a movie starring Charles Bronson as Valachi.

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Earl Weiss
Earl Weiss

Mug Shot

Earl Weiss served as boss of Chicago’s Irish-Jewish gang in 1924, but his rein was short lived. Weiss was shot on October 11, 1926, after refusing to make peace with the powerful Chicago gangster, Al Capone.

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Charlie Workman
Charlie Workman “The Bug”

Mug Shot

Charlie (Charles) Workman was a hitman for Murder Inc. run by Louis Buchalter. Murder Inc., specialized in hiring killers for the Mafia. Workman’s “fame” came when he and another hitman, Mendy Weiss, shot Dutch Schultz and three of his top men on October 23, 1935. Schultz developed peritonitis from the rusty bullets the killers used. He died 22 hours after being shot. Workman eventually was found guilty of Schultz’s murder and spent 23 years in prison.

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