Joe Profaci was a Colombo Faimly boss who was one of the most business savvy and powerful Mafia members ever in the entire United States.
Formulated from the ashes of early mob strife in the South Brooklyn area, what became known as the Profaci Family arguably had its origins among several underworld factions vying for power. Francesco (Frankie Yale) Ioele, an early Camorra boss, Michael (The Sweetheart) Abbatemarco, his number two, and Sicilian Giuseppe (The Clutch Hand) Peraino were just a few of several powers who clashed for supremacy. With the culmination of the Castellammarese War, Salvatore DiBella was said to have led the borgata until Giuseppe (Joe) Profaci, whose Family had been prominent Mafiosi (The Zubbio) back in Villabate, Sicily on the outskirts of Palermo proper, became the recognized power in the Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Coney Island, Flatbush, and Williamsburg sections of Brooklyn. Profaci had sided with Maranzano and the Castellammrese in the war.
Over the next 30 years, his Family would expand in vast power over other sections of Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and Long Island. He also had a regime in New Jersey and varied members in Manhattan, Westchester, Connecticut, and Florida. Profaci’s tremendous power expanded with his childrens’ and nieces’ marriages to those of the Detroit Family bosses Joseph Zerilli and William Tocco and a niece’s marriage to Joseph Bonanno’s son. This solidified the Family’s power!
The Profaci Family, who numbered about 150 strong with over 1000 associates, specialized in gambling, shylocking, hijacking and cargo theft, and business infiltration on a tremendous scale as evidenced by Profaci holdings such as Alpine Wine & Liquors Inc., Arrow Linen Supply Co., Mamma Mia Packing Co., Santuzza Oil Co., Mama Mia Imports Inc., Sunshine Edible Oils, Corp…multi-million dollar firms that they or their successors, (Colavita Olive Oil Company and Roma Foods Inc.) still operate to this day!
In 1959, a rebel faction headed by the Gallo brothers led a revolt within the Family. And over the next 35 years, two more internal Family wars would claim scores of lives, marring, and vastly weakening, the strength and resources of this borgata. With Profaci’s death in 1962 and a short interim leadership by Giuseppe Magliocco, capo Joseph Colombo would rise to be Family boss by 1964. Colombo further expanded the Family’s influence, wealth, and power until his attempted assassination in 1971.
After a few interim acting bosses, Carmine Persico would rise to power and lead for the next 40 years backed by a supporting cast of such mob luminaries as the notorious underboss John (Sonny) Franzese, Alphonse (Allie Boy) Persico, Sebastiano (Buster) Aloi, his son Vincent Aloi, and Salvatore (Sally Pro) Profaci – son of the borgata’s founding father.
What follows below is a list of in-depth biographies for many of their more interesting members and associates.