Gaetano “Tommy” Gagliano - The Original Lucchese Crime Family Boss - Mobster Biography

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By Jacob Stoops. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Gaetano “Tommy” Gagliano was the original boss of what the U.S. Federal authorities would later designate as the Lucchese crime family, one of the “Five Families” of New York City. He was probably the lowest-profile boss in the history of America Cosa Nostra and presided over the family for over two decades. His successor was his long-time lieutenant, Underboss, and the family’s current name-sake, one Tommy “Three Finger Brown” Lucchese.

As it has been said, if the primary ingredients for being a successful Cosa Nostra boss are keeping a low profile, avoiding arrests, shunning media publicity, and longevity - then you’d be hard pressed to find someone with a more impressive tenure than Tommy Gagliano.

Gagliano is one of the biggest enigmas ever in the American Mob. In fact, there is hardly any information about him at all - especially after he became his family’s first Godfather. In my research, instances where he is mentioned typically talk about his role in the Castellammarese War, and his selection as the family’s boss in 1931, but after that most information dries up until his death 20 years later. After 1931, the only exceptions to this would be when he takes a pinch and does a small bit of jail time and when he attends future mob rat Joe Valachi’s wedding on September 18, 1932. After that, he is not heard from until his death and get this - even his actual death date has been disputed. Even for the time, being this low-key was damned-near impossible and actually quite impressive.

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