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|New York|  Gaetano Gagliano

Birth: 1884 - Corleone, Sicily

Death: February 16, 1953












Gaetano "Tommy" Gagliano was the head of the Gagliano family from 1931 until his death in 1954. He was succeeded by Thomas Lucchese who had served Gagliano close by his side for about 40 years.

The Reina Family
Gagliano remains somewhat of a shadowy figure in the history of the Mafia. He was born in 1884 in the town of Corleone, Sicily. By his arrival in New York Gagliano had a couple of relatives living, like Angelo Gagliano, who helped him in forming new and powerful friends. Angelo was an associate of Giuseppe Morello and the Rao Family. Gagliano later joined a gang headed by Gaetano Reina, a top ally of Joe Masseria and Morello. Gagliano teamed up with the younger Lucchese and together they backed Masseria's organization during the Castellammare War against the forces of Salvatore Maranzano. Masseria however grew suspicious about Reina and had him killed in February 1930. Masseria then appointed the slobby Joseph Pinzolo as leader of the gang which was much to the dislikes of Gagliano, Lucchese and their men. Not much later they had Pinzolo murdered. About that time Gagliano deserted Masseria and joined the alliance of Maranzano. This was one of the important changes in the course of the war which would lead to the murder of Al Mineo. Gagliano had appointed some of his men to perform the killings. One of the men present was his underlings Joseph Valachi, who would later move to the Luciano Famiy. In April 1931 Masseria was eventualy murdered in a Coney Island restaurant while dining with his lieutenant Charles Luciano.

The Gagliano Family
Gagliano was then recognized by Maranzano as the official succeeder of Gaetano Reina and got control of his organization which was largely based in the Bronx. Gagliano appointed the loyal Tommy Lucchese as his second in command. A couple of months later also Maranzano was murdered in his office by men of Luciano and Meyer Lansky. After the Boss of Bosses status was removed Gagliano became a member of the National mafia commission, along with the other 4 New York bosses and others across the the country. Gagliano stayed boss of his family for about 20 years and during this period the family created lucrative businesses. During his tenure as boss he always kept a low profile and is hardly seen on photographs. very little is known about Gagliano between 1931 and his death in the early 1950s. It is believed that he resigned in 1951 and left over the business to Thomas Lucchese. As with many 'facts' regarding the mob, the date of Gagliano's death is disputed, with some sources suggesting he passed away, from natural causes, on 16 February 1951, though the date is usually stated as two years later. He is buried in the Bronx, New York, at Woodlawn Cemetery in a family mausoleum.


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