The Genovese Crime Family

The Genovese Crime Family is one of the Five Families of organized crime in America. Originating in Italy, it became, and still is, the most powerful crime family in the American Mafia.

Genovese Crime Family History

The Genovese Family, as it developed into the strongest borgata, had origins in several different towns in Sicily and later mainland Italy, making the Genovese Family the most diversified of the Five Families of New York City. Giuseppe (The Clutch Hand) Morello and Ignazio (Lupo the Wolf) Saietta were two early powers of what would eventually morph into the Genovese Family. Emigrating from Corleone and Palermo, Sicily, one settled in East Harlem’s “Little Italy" and the other settled in the Lower East Side in the Mulberry Street section of “Little Italy” in Manhattan. They ran a gang active in extortion, strong-arming, the Italian lottery, and a huge counterfeiting operation for its time.

Soon, a Sicilian strongman would come to power named Giuseppe Masseria who would look to dominate the Italian underworld. This would lead to the so-called “Castellammarese War," pitting Masseria’s forces and allies against those of Salvatore Maranzano and his allies. The war raged for over a year-and-a-half with Maranzano and his allies claiming victory with Masseria’s assassination in a Coney Island restaurant in 1931. Within months, Maranzano would also be killed in a purging of several old-guard Sicilians, making way for the formulation of the Five Families as we know it today and the formation of The Commission, a regulatory body of the strongest bosses across the country.

Salvatore (Charlie Lucky) Luciano would rise to be a first among equals with Vito Genovese serving as underboss and Francesco (Frank Costello) Castiglia as consigliere. This Family welcomed many men of Neapolitan and Calabrian heritage as well as Jewish hoodlums setting the stage for what would become the most diversified, pervasive, and powerful Cosa Nostra Family in America to this very day.

With a roster topping 225 formally inducted members and over 2000 associates, it boasted a powerhouse lineup of top mafiosi such as (Joe Adonis) Doto, (Little Augie Pisano) Carfano, (Trigger Mike) Coppola, Jerry Catena, and (Richie the Boot) Boiardo, among many other of the mob’s glitterati. With power bases in the Fulton Fish Market, the garment district, the New York-New Jersey waterfront through the (ILA) International Longshoreman’s Union, trucking, slot machine and jukebox vending, and hidden ownership in several Las Vegas casinos. The Family had satellite regimes in Massachusetts, Florida, and California and worked in tandem with Families in Chicago, Pittsburgh, New England, and elsewhere representing some of them before the Commission.

With Luciano’s jailing and eventual deportation back to Sicily in the 1940s, the leadership reins fell to Costello. And with Genovese returning from a self-imposed exile to Italy, he looked to seize the Family throne for himself which led to Costello’s attempted assassination in 1957 and a purging of several Costello loyalists. Vito’s view from the top was short-lived with his arrest and imprisonment for 15 years in 1959 for a huge heroin smuggling conspiracy. And although the year 2019 is not paved with gold for Cosa Nostra, the venerable Genovese Family has held its own against law enforcement's best efforts to crack its mafioso egg. The Family now operates, more than ever, in a surreptitious manner allowing for their continued success!

What follows below is a list of in-depth biographies for many of their more interesting members and associates.

Genovese Family Biographies

YOUTUBE Videos - Genovese Family

The iconic Frank Costello was the consigliere and acting boss of the Genovese Family. Widely known as The Prime Minister of the Underworld, he was one of the most influential and powerful Mafia leaders to ever operate in this country and the ultimate racketeer.

Johnny "The Bug" Stopelli was a diehard and dangerous mobster who was in the personal crew of Vito Genovese. He operated as a major drug trafficker, was involved in the suicide of a showgirl, and President Harry Truman even knew his name.

One of the quietest, yet most capable and successful mafioso to have operated in NYC back during the mob's "golden era" was Frank Funzi Tieri of the Genovese Family.Funzi's main rackets were gambling and shylocking but he had many legitimate businesses as well that generated millions.

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