The Gambino Family

The Gambino Family is one of the Five Families of organized crime in America. Its origins started in the city of Palermo, Sicily.


Salvatore D’Aquila was the first recognized boss of what is now called the Gambino Family, leading a large Palermitani faction in New York City as they emigrated. Both Upper and Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx supported a large  group of Palermo-bred and Palermo-oriented mafiosi. They would come into conflict with an accomplished mafioso from Lower Manhattan named Giuseppe  (Joe the Boss) Masseria.

D’Aquila and his followers would side with Maranzano, his Castellammare troops, and allied sympathizers. By 1931, Vincent Mangano would come to power. He would rule until his disappearance and murder in 1951. Albert Anastasia, a Calabrian and Mangano underboss, would rise to power and rule with an iron fist until his infamous execution in the barber’s chair in 1957, at which time Carlo Gambino came to power.

A long period of stability and prosperity would be enjoyed by this Family for the next 18 years until Gambino’s death in 1975. Paul Castellano, Carlo’s cousin and brother-in-law, would be chosen to lead. The Family would also prosper under Castellano for another decade until John Gotti shot his way to power with Castellano’s infamous gangland hit!

A Dominant Mafia Family

The Gambino Family, with an estimated formal membership of over 250 men and several thousand associates, and such capable leaders through the decades as Francesco (Don Cheech) ScaliceAniello (Neil) Dellacroce, Ettore (Terry) Zappi, Joseph N. Gallo, James (Jimmy Brown) Failla, and the notorious Carmine (The Doctor) Lombardozzi. They have a very dominant position in the New York and New Jersey underworld.

They also have had many “outposts” in Connecticut, Baltimore, South Florida, California, and Sicily. With extensive street rackets in large gambling, shylocking, extortion, business infiltration, labor-union racketeering, international heroin smuggling and nationwide distribution, and even political influence, this borgata has always ranked among the two largest and most pervasive in the American marketplace.

Below is a listing of bios and snapshots on Gambino Family members and associates. They are generally listed in alphabetical order. New and updated bios will be highlighted under the Gambino Family Spotlight tab in the sidebar column.

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Gambino Family Bios

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