Frank Amato and Vito Genovese were “compare” of sorts. They were both Napolitani by birth and born in the same little town of Raccarinola, Italy, right outside of Naples.
This “bond” between fellow Camorrista would serve Amato very well through the years by helping him avoid trouble among his peers. The unspoken threat of his murderous “compare” Vito waiting in the wings was usually more than enough to maintain order among the troops and keep Amato safe from potential trouble.
In fact, it was allegedly Genovese who helped Amato rise to become the “Representante” of the Pittsburgh family after a series of killings. These included the Volpe brothers and John Bazzano, who were all former leaders of Pittsburgh’s mob in the 1920s and 1930s.
Amato later chose to relinquish the top spot to John LaRocca but remained a key caporegime and, eventually, the advisor, or “consigliere,” in later years. It was a very comfortable fit for the old man.
Amato was also very close to capo Gabriel (Kelly) Mannarino and his brother Sam, who were two key members of the family.