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 1967 Air France heist among others.
In 1967 mobster Henry Hill, aged 23, took part in the $420,000 burglary at the Air France air-cargo terminal in New York City's JFK International Airport.
The heist is memorable for its sheer audacity, and the oddness of the target, particularly in that an airline should keep such sums in storage at an airport: Air France was the carrier for American currency that had been exchanged in France by tourists and military personnel.
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