The Lucchese Crime Family has always been considered a major mob force within the Five Families of organized crime in New York City – despite its small size.
From its origins in Italian East Harlem, with many of its founding members having emigrated from Palermo and Corleone, Sicily, and later expanding out into the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, New Jersey, South Florida, and elsewhere, the Lucchese Crime Family has always been considered a major force within the greater New York City metropolitan area.
And although, traditionally, the smallest of the infamous Five Families, with an estimated formal membership of 130 members and over 500 associates, from its first leader Gaetano Reina to Gaetano Gagliano to Family namesake Gaetano Lucchese himself, on down through Carmine Tramunti and including Anthony Corallo, this borgata has always enjoyed the benefit of having a capable, intelligent leadership who directed their membership into the pivotal control of many of New York’s most important industries and rackets.
The Lucchese borgata had the envied reputation of always being one of the most internally peaceful, well-run, and wealthiest of the Five Families. They boasted a powerhouse lineup of such mob legends as the infamous John (Johnny Dio) Dioguardi, Vincent Rao, Paul Vario, Sr., John (Big John) Ormento, Vincent (Jimmy Doyle) Plumeri, and Joseph (Joe Beck) Di Palermo, to name but a few.
Through their successful infiltration, domination, and ironclad control of many key labor unions in varied industries such as major Teamsters Locals, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), and the Laborers Union of North America, among many other industry unions, the Lucchese’s have leveraged this control to dictate to entire segments of the business world. The garment district on an unprecedented scale, the nationwide air-freight industry at JFK Airport, and building construction are but a few of the industries held captive by the Lucchese Family for decades.