6.18.2014

THE GAMBINO CRIME FAMILY BOSSES

Carlo Gambino 1959-1976

The Gambino crime family is the most publicized family of the American Mafia. It’s one of “Five Families” based out of New York that dominates organized crime in the United States. The Gambino family got its name from previous boss Carlo Gambino who controlled the family from 1959 until his death in October 1976.

The family got its start in the late 1800’s as the Salvatore “Toto” D’Aquila gang of Manhattan who joined the established Morello gang. They were the first Italian American gang in New York, and possibly the entire United States.

"Big" Paul Castellano - 1976 - 1985
(D'Aquila/Mangano)

"The Howard Hughes of the Mob" and "Big Paulie" (or "PC" to his family), succeeded Carlo Gambino as head of the Gambino crime family, then the nation's largest Cosa Nostra family at the time. The unsanctioned assassination of Castellano by John Gotti would spark years of animosity between the Gambinos and the other New York crime families.

 Peter Clemenza "Leave the gun take the cannoli"

His nephew was actor Richard S. Castellano "Clemenza" from The Godfather.

John Gotti felt that Castellano was not a gangster - he did not think he was fit for the role of Don. He assembled a group of high level conspirators that included  Sammy "the Bull" Gravano, DeCicco, Leonard DiMaria, and Joseph Armone. 

An initial plan was to kill Castellano outside his house, but Gotti was afraid of federal agents there. Gravano suggested killing both Castellano and his driver, Billotti while they were eating breakfast at a diner. However, when Castellano announced a dinner meeting on December 16, Gotti and the other conspirators decided to kill him then. 

John Joseph Gotti, Jr. (October 27, 1940 – June 10, 2002)

John Gotti was an American mobster who became the Boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City after the assassination of Paul Castellano. Gotti and his brothers grew up in poverty and turned to a life of crime at an early age. Operating out of the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, Gotti quickly rose to prominence, becoming one of the crime family's biggest earners and a protégé of Gambino family underboss Aniello Dellacroce.


Gotti was incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary at Marion, Illinois. He spent the majority of his sentence in effective solitary confinement, only allowed out of his cell for one hour a day. His final appeal was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1994.

Gambino acting boss John A. "Junior" Gotti

John Angelo Gotti III or "Junior" Gotti (born February 14, 1964) is a former New York City mobster who in the 1990s, according to law enforcement claims, was acting boss of the Gambino crime family of Cosa Nostra from 1992 to 1999 after his father, John J. Gotti, was sent to prison.


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