Tommy Gagliano


Tommy Gagliano

Gaetano "Tommy" Gagliano (1884 - 16 February, 1951?) is a New York gangster who founded the Lucchese crime family, one of the powerful "Five Families" of New York, and served as its low-profile Boss for over two decades. His successor was his longtime loyalist and Underboss, Gaetano "Tommy" Lucchese.

Early life

Gagliano remains a shadowy figure in the history of Cosa Nostra with little information on his early life in Sicily. In the early 1920s, Gagliano arrived in New York. He soon joined a Sicilian criminal gang in the Bronx under Gaetano "Tom" Reina and by the mid-1920s was underboss to Reina. Frank Gagliano, is a distant relative of Tommaso and the son of a deported mobster. He was also the cousin of mob boss Thomas Eboli's chauffer and bodyguard, future Genovese crime family underboss Dominick Alongi who would later achieve notoriety when they were among the many mobsters arrested fleeing the famous 1957 Apalachin Meeting. He is a blood relative of mobster Joseph (Pip the Blind) Gagliano who early on in his life became a criminal accomplace and childhood friend of Joseph Valachi. The two performed many burglaries and armed robberies together.

Castellammarese War

During the late 1920s, a bitter gang rivalry arose in New York between Joseph "The Boss" Masseria, the most powerful mobster in New York, and Salvatore Maranzano, head of the Castellammarese Sicilian clan. Masseria had demanded more money from Reina, prompting Reina to consider switching allegiance to Maranzano. When Masseria heard about Reina's plans, Masseria murdered him in February 1930. To head Reina's gang, Masseria appointed one of his loyalists, Joseph Pinzolo. Both Gagliano and Lucchese hated Pinzolo and resented Masseria appointing an outsider as gang leader. In September 1930, Pinzolo was shot and killed by unknown assailants. To replace Pinzolo, Masseria appointed Gagliano as head of the Reina gang. It is speculated that Gagliano and Lucchese formed a secret alliance with Maranzano at this time while still professing loyalty to Masseria.

As the war continued, Masseria began suffering more defeats and key defections. On April 13, 1931, Masseria was assassinated at Brooklyn restaurant by several of his men. These defectors, guided by Charles "Lucky" Luciano, had made a deal with Maranzano guaranteeing their power if they switched sides. However, after Masseria's death, Maranzano started promoting himself as the "Boss of All Bosses" for all the Italian-American criminal gangs in the country. Feeling betrayed and threatened, Luciano arranged Maranzano's assassination a few months later in September 1931. During this period of instability, Gagliano remained in control of the Reina gang.

Cosa Nostra Families

After Maranzano's death, Luciano restructured all the Italian-American criminal gangs into several crime families regulated by a Commission of family bosses. The aim of this restructuring was to settle disputes without bloody gang wars. The New York City gangs were divided into five crime families. Gagliano became the boss of the Gagliano family, with Lucchese as underboss, and took a seat on the Commission

Gagliano steered the Lucchese family through a period of high tension between the Five Families. In 1936, Luciano was sent to prison and then, in 1946, deported to Italy. With Luciano's absence, power on the Commission was held by an alliance of mob bosses Vincent Mangano, Joe Bonanno, Stefano Magaddino and Joe Profaci. Gagliano had to be very careful in the face of this alliance, and was keen to keep a low profile while furthering the business interests of his section of Cosa Nostra, in industries such as gasoline rationing, meat and black market sugar. Very little is known about Gagliano between 1932 and his death from natural causes in the 1950s.

Date of Death

The actual date of Gagliano's death is still uncertain. In 1951, Luchese stated during the Senate hearings on organized crime that Gagliano died on 16 February 1951. However, many historians believe Gagliano actually died in 1953. It is speculated that Gagliano retired in 1951 and turned leadership over to Lucchese, but kept this information secret to prevent law enforcement or media scrutiny. However, but there is no concrete evidence to support this theory.

External links

* [http://www.americanmafia.com/Allan_May_6-19-00.html Gaetano Gagliano: A Mafia Short Story by Allan May]
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Gagliano&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GSsr=81&GRid=18842& Tomasso "Tommy Gaetano" Gagliano] at Find A Grave
*http://www.crimemagazine.com/artichokes.htm


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tommy Gagliano — Gaetano „Tommy“ Gagliano (* 1884 Sizilien; † vermutlich 16. Februar 1951 New York City) war ein US amerikanischer Mobster der La Cosa Nostra und Boss der Lucchese Familie, als dessen eigentlicher Begründer er gelten kann. Möglicherweise lautet… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tommy Lucchese — (1er décembre 1899 13 juillet 1967) fut le chef de la famille Lucchese de 1953 à 1967. Gaetano Tommy Lucchese, dit Tommy les Trois doigts [1], était le patron de la famille Lucchese, une des cinq familles de New York. Lors de son règne, la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gagliano — may refer to:* Gagliano Aterno, Abruzzo, Italy * Gagliano Castelferrato, Sicily, Italy * Gagliano del Capo, Lecce, Apulia, Italy * Gagliano (fiction), a fictional town in the novel Christ Stopped at Eboli People with the surname Gagliano:*… …   Wikipedia

  • Tommy Lucchese — Infobox Person name=Gaetano Lucchese caption= birth date=birth date|1899|12|1|mf=y birth place=Palermo, Sicily, Italy death date=death date and age|1967|7|13|1899|12|1|mf=y death place=Lido Beach, Nassau County, New York, U.S.Gaetano Tommy Gunn… …   Wikipedia

  • Tommy Lucchese — Gaetano „Tommy“ Lucchese, auch „Three Finger Brown“ genannt (* 1. Dezember 1899 in Palermo, Sizilien; † 13. Juli 1967 in Lido Beach, New York), war ein berüchtigter Mobster der US amerikanischen La Cosa Nostra und wurde Anführer einer Bande, die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gaetano Gagliano — Gaetano „Tommy“ Gagliano (* 1884 Sizilien; † vermutlich 16. Februar 1951 New York City) war ein US amerikanischer Mobster der La Cosa Nostra und Boss der Lucchese Familie, als dessen eigentlicher Begründer er gelten kann. Möglicherweise lautet… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gaetano Gagliano — may refer to:* Tommy Gagliano, real name Gaetano Gagliano, American gangster * Gaetano Gagliano (businessman), Canadian printer and businessman …   Wikipedia

  • Famille Lucchese — ou Gagliano Date de fondation 1931 Fondé par Gaetano Reiina Lieu New York, mais aussi New Jersey et Floride Territoire   …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lucchese crime family — Infobox Criminal organization name =Lucchese crime family caption =Named after Gaetano Lucchese founded on =1931 founding location =flagicon|US New York City founded by =Gaetano Lucchese years active =1931 present territory =Various neighborhoods …   Wikipedia

  • Gaetano Lucchese — Gaetano „Tommy“ Lucchese, auch „Three Finger Brown“ genannt (* 1. Dezember 1899 in Palermo, Sizilien; † 13. Juli 1967 in Lido Beach, New York), war ein berüchtigter Mobster der US amerikanischen La Cosa Nostra und wurde Anführer einer Bande, die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.