Tony DeStefano rose through the ranks of Cosa Nostra’s Magaddino Crime Family to become capo of a small crew based in Syracuse, New York where he lived and operated most of his life. His specialty was the gambling rackets and when the FBI came calling, nothing was off-limits when it came to “getting” their man.
Anthony (Whispers) De Stefano – aka “Baby Face,” “Tony the Hat,” and “Tony Whispers” was born as Antonio DeStefano on March 4, 1911, in the little town of Ferrazzano in Southern Italy to Giovanni and Nicoletta De Stefano. In 1920 when he was nine years old, Tony immigrated to the United States with his parents and two younger sisters, Marianna and Angelina. He also had a brother named Michael.
The DeStefano family settled in the Upstate city of Syracuse, New York. This is the area where young Anthony and his siblings would be raised and reared and where Anthony would live and operate for the rest of his life. By 1930, Tony and his family were residing at 107 Hazard Street in the little Town of Solvay.
In 1946, DeStefano gained derivative U.S. citizenship through his father John, who was naturalized in Syracuse that year.
As a young man, he met and started dating Rose Teresa Massaro, the daughter of an old-time racketeer and well-known Prohibition-era bootlegger named Pietro (Pete) Massaro. Tony and Rose soon fell in love and got married and would have two daughters together. They moved to the nearby town of Fulton where they bought a home at 211 Oneida Street. This is the home where they would raise their family and reside for the next half-century.