The Gambino Family
The Gambino family is one of the five families from the United States of America, with its main activity in New York City, and it is named after its Carlo Gambino, a well-known American business man one of the most respected Mafia bosses. Right from the beginning of its apparition, the organized crime gained the attention of the American public, and even under these circumstances the business managed to extend from New York City throughout California. Just like many other organized crime groups, its illicit activities are wide spread and they include infractions such as gambling, extortion, money laundering, prostitution, fraud, or hijacking. But even more important than its activities, it is the great power it had throughout the US.
The Gambino family has begun its illicit activities since 1957, and for a while it had been the most powerful family from the entire world. It all began the assassination of Albert Anastasia on a barber chair in Manhattan. This was the first important move of Carlo Gambino, who managed to take over the business right after this deadly move.
Going back to the origins, one might say that in order to know better the Gambino crime family, it is essential to know more about the other crime families and their businesses around the world. Therefore you should have a context of the apparition of the Gambino crime family.
D’Aquila gang from Manhattan was one of the most influential gangs from USA, being founded by an Italian called Slavatore “Toto” D’Aquila, who was originally born in Palermo, Sicily. He joined the Morello gang, which is known to be the first criminal gang in New York. After its apparition, all the other gangs acknowledged Giuseppe Morello as their boss, becoming the boss among all the bosses. Only after the condemnation of Giuseppe Morello, D’Aquila managed to create his own gang in East Harlem, becoming a powerful force in New York, where he had many important connections. Right after this there emerged many more Italian gangs, and it began a unsaid fight for the power, each one of them desiring the supremacy. However, D’Aquila managed to keep, and even more than this, he managed to increase its supremacy, becoming one of the most influential gangs from New York City. But the Mafia world is always changing, and the power is in constant move, and in order to keep the supremacy, you need to prove your worth, and even then there are many ways to be defeated by others who are more powerful, or only faster than you. It is only imaginable the struggle of D’Aquila to keep himself in the top, during a time when many important crime organizations used to rise without any problems.
The next great Mafia leader was Vincent Mangano, who took over the business, making Albert Anastasia underboss. They had many illegal activities, from gambling and lottery to money laundering, and soon enough Albert Anastasia’s brother joined the mob, becoming an essential asset of the group, making an incredible profit to this ascending crime organization. It was during this time that Carlo Gambino managed to be promoted within the Mangano family. Even if they worked side by side during 20 years, Mangano and Anastasia have been many times in conflict with each other, and Mangano felt threatened by Anastasia’s connection to other crime organizations outside the family. This silent conflict lasted until the day Vincent Mangano and his brother Philip were found dead, without a certainty of the person who killed them. But the general belief was that Anastasia was behind both of these murders. Even if it was questioned in front of the Commission, Anastasia didn’t accept the guilt for those murders, and since he was already running the family, all the Commission members were intimidated by him, and therefore, it was the beginning of the rise of the Anastasia crime family. Since he has always wanted something more, Carlo Gambino managed to become underboss without any difficulty. Being known as a ferocious murderer, Anastasia was feared by everyone around, becoming to control the commission. However, its way of acting gathered many enemies, and therefore a plot against him was created, and Carlo Gambino took part to this conspiracy. If until then Carlo Gambino was a silent presence in this harsh mafia world, the things were going to change at the Park Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan, when Albert Anastasia was found dead in the barber’s chair.
Even if now it seems short, it is actually a long history that created the perfect scene for the raise of Carlo Gambino, who managed to become the head of the most powerful crime family in USA.
Even if he had quite a remarkable ascension, his power created enemies, and therefore there have been conspiracies against him. Therefore, Joseph Bonanno, the head of the Bonnano crime family, and Joseph Magliocco, the boss of the Profaci family, conspired to kill Gambino. However the plan failed in the moment when the person entrusted with this task, i.e. Joseph Colombo, became an ally with Gambino. After this failed plan, Colombo became the boss of the Profaci crime family, and Gambino became the most powerful leader of the Five Families. Even if he was the one to help the ascension of Colombo, he decided to take him down, since he had a high public profile.
Carlo Gambino had a powerful leadership and he passed away in a natural way, suffering from a heart attack. The family was taken over by his brother-in-law, Paul Castellano. He married Gambino’s sister, becoming thus part of the family. Castellano had amazing organizational skills, and he managed to create a collaboration with Dellacorce, dividing the responsibilities. Therefore, Castellano was the one to take control of the white collar crimes, while Dellacroce was responsible for the Cosa Nostra activities. During his regime, Castellano managed to make an important influence on the construction industry, and soon enough the Gambino family became so powerful that it had veto power for any project worth over $2 million in New York City.
Looking throughout the origins, it easy to spot some common points that seem to repeat during each time, and therefore Castellano found himself a vocal critic in the person of John Gotti, who was a protégé of Dellacrocce. Gotti was ambitious and he had a desire of becoming a boss, and he had a personal grudge against Castellano because he forbid him to deal with narcotics, just around the same time he allowed DeMeo to do it. Therefore, Gotti started to trade in secret, without the knowledge of Castellano. During these illegal trades there has been a recording of this activity, a recording that had a transcript which came in the hands of Dellacrocce. If Castellano would have known about this transcript, he would have killed Gotti, but since Dellacrocce was the one to have it, there wasn’t any risk, at least not until his death, when he was defeated by cancer. With the transcript in the open, Gotti had to take action sooner than Castellano, and therefore he killed him in 1985.
After the death of Castellano, John Gotti became the new boss of the Gambino crime family, being well known for his hand tailored suits and his silk ties. Unlike his colleagues, Gotti didn’t like to hide his connections with the mob, and therefore he was not afraid by the media. Therefore, his name appeared frequently on TV, and most of his affairs were handled face to face in public places, where the law enforcements couldn’t record their conversations. John Gotti was tried three times both by federal and state officials, and each time he managed to escape, getting the nickname The Teflon Don. However, he didn’t escape a conviction, since he was taped while speaking about Gravano’s crimes, who was convicted for each of them, and who testified against Gotti in order to revenge. Therefore, Gotti has been sentenced to life without parole. Even while doing his time in prison, he managed to rule the family. Soon enough after this incident, Gotti’s son, John “Junior” Gotti became the head of the family, the boss of the Gambino crime family, but soon enough he was also arrested. After the death of John Gotti, Sr., his brother became boss, taking over the family business, but their power wasn’t as strong as it used to be a few decades ago, when the Gambino crime family was considered to be the most powerful criminal organization not only from USA, but from the entire world.
In the past few years the federal operation managed to convict several members, and it was also a time when it managed to infiltrate in the Gambino crime family. All these convictions have weakened this criminal organization, but even under these hard circumstances, the Gambino crime family controls the piers in Brooklyn and Staten Island, being very active in New York City.
The Gambino family has a long history, but its true glory was obtained during the time of Carlo Gambino, such an important figure that there is a famous movie after his character, The Godfather becoming one of the most successful movies about Mafia. After his death, the Gambino crime family started to decline, until it became only a shadow of its old self, when everyone used to tremble hearing about the famous and ferocious Carlo Gambino, the first boss , of the family, an important figure of the Mafia that is hard to be forgotten.