||Los Angeles| Frank Desimone
Birth: July 17, 1909 - Colorado
Death: August 4, 1967
Frank DeSimone was the boss of the Los Angeles Dragna family from 1956 until his death in 1967. He was a relative of Lucchese mobster Thomas DeSimone.
Lawyer turned mobster
Frank DeSimone was the son of Rosario DeSimone, a former head of the Los Angeles family, and was born in 1909 in Pueblo Colorado. He was a smart man and became a lawyer in 1933. By being involved with the Dragna family he often used his profession to help the family and it's associates out. In 1948 for instance DeSimone defended Chicago gangster Johnny Roselli after he had surrendered himself to U.S. Marshals. During the 1940's he was also involved in the Sunset Strip war against Jewish gangster Mickey Cohen. At one point he was on the lookout for a couple of gunmen to kill Cohen, but the attempt failed. In 1956 boss Jack Dragna passed away and DeSimone was appointed as his successor. One year later he and underboss Simone Scozzari were invited to the Apalachin Meeting and both were arrested there after the police came bursting in. After a long interrogation he was released again, but Scozzari on the other hand had to leave the United States because he had entered the country illegaly.
Not long after DeSimone took over as boss troubles allready started. Girolomo "Momo" Adamo, the new Dragna underboss, shot his wife and then committed suicide after discovering she was cheating on him with DeSimone. Adamo's wife however survived and later married with Los Angeles hitman Frank Bompensiero. Many saw it as a disgrace to Mafia rules, but DeSimone was allowed to remain in charge of the family. Under his leadership the family remained weak in comparisment with other families such as the Chicago Outfit, to who'm they were allied. Some of his men, such as Frank Bompensiero and Jimmy Fratianno, even turned against him and transfered to the Chicago Outfit instead.
One of DeSimone's friends was Arnholt Smith, a California multimillionaire and close associate of President Nixon. In the early 1970's the FBI would search into Smith's dealings with organized crime. It is stated that DeSimone was paranoid of being being killed and always took extra precautions when going somewhere. He eventually died of natural causes in 1967 and was succeeded by Nicholas Licata.
(Source: "Banker Friend of Nixon Is Target of U.S. Inquiry" NYtimes September 10, 1973, crimewarehouse.com, www.americanmafia.com)
.:Back to American Mafia:.