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Paul Castellano

Paul Castellano

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Constantino Paul "Big Paul" Castellano (June 26, 1915 – December 16, 1985), also known as "The Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes
Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. was an American business magnate, investor, aviator, engineer, film producer, director, and philanthropist. He was one of the wealthiest people in the world...

 of the Mob" and "Big Paulie" (or "PC" to his family), was an American Mafia
American Mafia
The American Mafia , is an Italian-American criminal society. Much like the Sicilian Mafia, the American Mafia has no formal name and is a secret criminal society. Its members usually refer to it as Cosa Nostra or by its English translation "our thing"...

 boss in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. He succeeded Carlo Gambino
Carlo Gambino
"Don" Carlo Gambino, was a Sicilian mafioso who became Boss of the Gambino crime family, that still bears his name today. After the 1957 Apalachin Convention he unexpectedly seized control of the Commission of the American Mafia. Gambino was known for being low-key and secretive...

 as head of the Gambino crime family
Gambino crime family
The Gambino crime family is one of the "Five Families" that dominates organized crime activities in New York City, United States, within the nationwide criminal phenomenon known as the Mafia . The group is named after Carlo Gambino, boss of the family at the time of the McClellan hearings in 1963...

, at the time, the nation's largest Mafia family. In 1985, he was one of many Mafia bosses arrested on charges of racketeering
Racket (crime)
A racket is an illegal business, usually run as part of organized crime. Engaging in a racket is called racketeering.Several forms of racket exist. The best-known is the protection racket, in which criminals demand money from businesses in exchange for the service of "protection" against crimes...

, which was to result in the Mafia Commission Trial
Mafia Commission Trial
The Mafia Commission Trial was a criminal trial in New York City, USA. Using evidence obtained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, eleven organized crime figures, including the heads of New York's so-called "Five Families," were indicted by United States Attorney Rudolph Giuliani under the...

; in December of that year, while out on bail, Castellano and his bodyguard were shot to death outside Sparks Steak House
Sparks Steak House
The Sparks Steak House is a restaurant located at 210 East 46th Street between Second & Third Avenues in Midtown Manhattan.-History:The restaurant was founded by brothers Pat and Mike Cetta in 1966...

 in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 on the orders of John Gotti
John Gotti
John Joseph Gotti, Jr was an American mobster who became the Boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City. Gotti grew up in poverty. He and his brothers turned to a life of crime at an early age...

.

Early life


Castellano was born in Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

 in 1915, to Giuseppe Castellano and Concetta (née Casatu). Giuseppe was a butcher
Butcher
A butcher is a person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh, sell their meat or any combination of these three tasks. They may prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish for sale in retail or wholesale food establishments...

 and an early member of the Mangano crime family, the forerunner of the Gambino family. Paul Castellano was the first cousin to Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Vito Castellano a commander of the New York National Guard and chief of staff for Governor Mario Cuomo
Mario Cuomo
Mario Matthew Cuomo served as the 52nd Governor of New York from 1983 to 1994, and is the father of Andrew Cuomo, the current governor of New York.-Early life:...

.

In 1934, Castellano was arrested for the first time. The 19-year-old Castellano refused to identify his two accomplices to the police and served a three-month prison sentence. By refusing to cooperate with authorities, Castellano enhanced his reputation for mob loyalty. Castellano often signed his name as "C. Paul Castellano" because he hated his first name, Constantino. Eventually he became known as Paul. Castellano was a big man standing at 6'2 1/2" (189 cm) and weighed a hefty 270 pounds; with this stature many other mob guys steered out of his way.

In the 1940s, Castellano became a member of the Mangano family. He became a capo
Caporegime
A caporegime or capodecina, usually shortened to just a capo, is a term used in the Mafia for a high ranking made member of a crime family who heads a "crew" of soldiers and has major social status and influence in the organization...

 under boss Vince Mangano's successor, Albert Anastasia
Albert Anastasia
Albert Anastasia was boss of what is now called the Gambino crime family, one of New York City's Five Families, from 1951-1957. He also ran a gang of contract killers called Murder Inc. which enforced the decisions of the Commission, the ruling council of the American Mafia...

. In 1957, after Anastasia's murder and Carlo Gambino
Carlo Gambino
"Don" Carlo Gambino, was a Sicilian mafioso who became Boss of the Gambino crime family, that still bears his name today. After the 1957 Apalachin Convention he unexpectedly seized control of the Commission of the American Mafia. Gambino was known for being low-key and secretive...

's elevation to boss, Castellano attended the abortive Apalachin Conference in Apalachin, New York
Apalachin, New York
Apalachin is a census-designated place within the Town of Owego in Tioga County, New York, United States. The population was 1,126 in the 2000 census. It is named after the Apalachin Creek. Apalachin means From where the messenger returned in the Lenape.Apalachin is in the southeast part of the...

. With his butcher's background, Castellano launched a successful wholesale poultry distribution business that, at its height, supplied 300 butchers in New York. His customers included two of the largest supermarket chains in the city, Key Food
Key Food
Key Food Stores Co-Op Inc. is a cooperative of independently owned supermarkets in southern New York, plus one store in Stamford, Connecticut. Key Food was founded in 1937 by Sam Mandel; it is headquartered on Staten Island...

 and Waldbaum's
Waldbaum's
Waldbaum's is a supermarket chain with stores on Long Island, in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, and one store in Connecticut. It began in 1904 as a shop run by Sam and Wolf Waldbaum in Brooklyn. Their nephew, Izzy, emigrated to America and joined the business....

.

In 1975, Castellano ordered the murder of his daughter's boyfriend, Vito Borelli. Someone had reported to Castellano that Borelli thought he resembled Frank Perdue
Frank Perdue
Franklin Parsons "Frank" Perdue , born in Salisbury, Maryland, was for many years the president and CEO of Perdue Farms, now one of the largest chicken-producing companies in the United States.-Career:...

, the famous owner and commercial spokesman for Perdue Farms
Perdue Farms
Perdue Farms is a major chicken processing company based in Salisbury, Maryland, United States with annual sales in excess of $4.6B.-Origin and war era:...

. Castellano considered this an insult, due to Perdue's balding, elderly appearance and his comically awkward mannerisms. Ironically, Perdue would later call on Castellano for assistance with union issues at one of his processing plants, a decision Perdue later said that he regretted. In 1980, Castellano allegedly ordered the murder of his son-in-law Frank Amato
Frank Amato
Frank Amato , pronounced legally dead 1985, was a Sicilian-American mafioso who was the son-in-law of Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano.-Biography:...

 for abusing his daughter Connie. Amato disappeared and was never seen again. According to FBI documents, Gambino soldier Roy DeMeo
Roy DeMeo
Roy Albert DeMeo was a soldier in the Gambino crime family. He is infamous for heading the DeMeo crew, a gang suspected by the FBI of murdering at least 70 people between 1973 and 1983. The vast majority were disposed of so thoroughly that they were never found...

 murdered Amato, cut up his body, and disposed of the remains at sea.

Rise in the Gambino family


The federal government listed Castellano as a family capo as early as 1960. In 1966, Castellano, then a powerful family capo based in Brooklyn, was appointed acting boss while Carlo Gambino temporarily re-located to Florida to avoid pressure from law enforcement and immigration officials. At the same time, Joseph N. Gallo
Joseph N. Gallo
Giuseppe “Uno-Punzone” Nicholas Gallo, Jr. also known as Joseph Nicholas Gallo was a New York mobster, who allegedly became consigliere of the Gambino crime family.-Biography:He was born on January 8, 1912...

 and Aniello "Neil" Dellacroce
Aniello Dellacroce
Aniello John "Mr. Neil" Dellacroce , also known as "Father O'Neil" and "The Tall Guy", was an Italian-American gangster and underboss of the Gambino crime family. A capo of his own crew for many years he rose to the position of underboss when Carlo Gambino moved Joseph Biondo aside.-Early...

 replaced Joseph "Joe Bandy" Biondo
Joseph Biondo
Joseph Biondo , also known as "Joe Bandy", "Joe the Blonde", and "Little Rabbit", was a New York mobster with the Gambino crime family who was heavily involved in gambling activities. Biondo was also the family underboss for approximately eight years.-Career:Born in Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto in...

 and Joseph "Staten Island Joe" Riccobono as the family's consigliere and underboss, respectively. Gambino remained the family's boss while giving day-to-day authority to Castellano. Gambino would return to New York, and resume control of the family, however, relying on Castellano more and more.

Castellano's rackets


Castellano was a major earner as a capo in the family. Castellano's interests included Scara-Mix Concrete Corp., which exercised a near monopoly on the pouring of concrete
Concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

 on Staten Island
Staten Island
Staten Island is a borough of New York City, New York, United States, located in the southwest part of the city. Staten Island is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull, and from the rest of New York by New York Bay...

. Castellano also supervised the family's interests in Teamsters Union Local 282, which gave the Gambinos a stranglehold on New York City's construction industry. Both Gambino and Castellano were very close to the local's president John Cody. Castellano also handled the family's interests in the infamous "Concrete Club," in which the family extorted millions of dollars from New York developers. For all intents and purposes, no concrete could be poured for any project worth more than $2 million without the approval of the Gambino family.

In 1975, Castellano became acting boss for the aging Gambino and in 1976, after Gambino's death, assumed the title of official boss. The front runner to replace Gambino had been underboss
Underboss
Underboss is a position within the leadership structure of Sicilian and American Mafia crime families. The underboss is second in command to the boss...

 Aniello "Neil" Dellacroce
Aniello Dellacroce
Aniello John "Mr. Neil" Dellacroce , also known as "Father O'Neil" and "The Tall Guy", was an Italian-American gangster and underboss of the Gambino crime family. A capo of his own crew for many years he rose to the position of underboss when Carlo Gambino moved Joseph Biondo aside.-Early...

. However, before his death, Gambino allegedly designated Castellano as his successor. Gambino and Castellano were cousins, and Gambino was married to Castellano's sister. Gambino was a strong believer in family ties. Although disappointed, Dellacroce decided to support Castellano's elevation, and Castellano retained him as underboss.

Under Castellano, the Gambinos expanded their already strong influence on the building industry. For decades, the Gambinos had controlled Teamsters
Teamsters
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is a labor union in the United States and Canada. Formed in 1903 by the merger of several local and regional locals of teamsters, the union now represents a diverse membership of blue-collar and professional workers in both the public and private sectors....

 Local
Local union
A local union, often shortened to local, in North America, or a union branch in the United Kingdom and other countries is a locally-based trade union organization which forms part of a larger, usually national, union.Local branches are organized to represent the union's members from a particular...

 282, which could literally bring most construction jobs in New York City to a halt. Castellano's connections expanded to places as far away as Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

.

Castellano saw himself more as a businessman rather than a hoodlum; in fact, his long-term goal was legitimacy. As part of an effort to lead a more open lifestyle, he purchased a large mansion in the prominent Todt Hill
Todt Hill
Todt Hill [elevation 410 ft ] is a hill formed of serpentine rock on Staten Island, New York. It is the highest natural point in the five boroughs of New York City and the highest elevation on the entire Atlantic Coastal Plain from Florida to Cape Cod., The summit of the ridge is largely covered...

 neighborhood of Staten Island
Staten Island
Staten Island is a borough of New York City, New York, United States, located in the southwest part of the city. Staten Island is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull, and from the rest of New York by New York Bay...

. In contrast, Carlo Gambino had lived in a modest, well-kept row house in Brooklyn. He didn't entirely forsake murder, however. For example, after finding out that Nicholas Scibetta
Nicholas Scibetta
Nicholas Scibetta, also known as "Little Nicky" , was a Sicilian American mobster who was the nephew of Joseph Zicarelli and John Zicarelli and is the brother-in-law of Sammy Gravano and uncle of mafioso Gerard Gravano who was a Gambino crime family mob associate who was later marked as a stool...

, the brother-in-law of mobster Sammy "the Bull" Gravano
Sammy Gravano
Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano is a former underboss of the Gambino crime family. He is known as the man who helped bring down John Gotti, the family's boss, by agreeing to become a Federal Bureau of Investigation informant and turn state's evidence.Originally a mobster for the Colombo crime...

, was engaging in behavior embarrassing to the family, Castellano ordered him killed.

Castellano also fostered or developed important alliances with other criminal organizations. He set up agreement with the Westies
Westies
The Westies are a predominantly Irish American organized crime association operating from the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan's West Side in New York City. According to crime author T. J...

, an Irish-American gang from Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan
Hell's Kitchen, also known as Clinton and Midtown West, is a neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City between 34th Street and 59th Street, from 8th Avenue to the Hudson River....

, to act as enforcers and hitters. Castellano also created an alliance with the Cherry Hill Gambinos, a group of Sicilians who imported and trafficked large quantities of Sicilian heroin throughout the United States. Through his close connections with the Westies and the Cherry Hill Gambinos, Castellano commanded an army of capable killers that he could use as his personal hit squads.

Some Gambino wiseguys
Made man
A made man, also known as a Mafioso , made guy, man of honor, or uomo d'onore , is someone who has been officially inducted into the Sicilian or American Mafia . They may also be referred to by some as a goodfella or wiseguy...

 began losing respect for Castellano. These were Dellacroce supporters involved in traditional Cosa Nostra activities like extortion and illegal gambling. They felt that Castellano had lost touch with the essence of the organization and was too distant. However, these dissidents knew that Dellacroce had pledged loyalty to Castellano and would not support an effort to overthrow him.

Later years and assassination



In the early 1980s, Castellano became worried about the ambitions of the ruthless John Gotti
John Gotti
John Joseph Gotti, Jr was an American mobster who became the Boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City. Gotti grew up in poverty. He and his brothers turned to a life of crime at an early age...

, a protègé of Dellacroce. Castellano repeatedly made it clear that he would kill anyone who was dealing in narcotics - knowing that Gotti was doing just that. Meanwhile, Gotti began to turn mobsters against Castellano, aided by the growing discontent in the family. Castellano rarely left his mansion and, although he demanded tribute payments from them, he rarely mixed with the foot-soldiers of the family. Castellano was closest to a four-man-panel, consisting of capos Thomas "Tommy" Gambino
Thomas Gambino
Thomas "Tommy" Gambino is a New York mobster and a longtime Caporegime of the Gambino crime family who successfully controlled lucrative trucking rackets in the New York City Garment District.-Early life:...

, Daniel "Danny" Marino, James "Jimmy Brown" Failla
James Failla
James "Jimmy Brown" Failla was a senior caporegime with the Gambino crime family who was a major power in the garbage hauling industry in New York City...

, and Thomas "Tommy" Bilotti
Thomas Bilotti
Thomas Bilotti was a New York mobster and then Underboss for the reputed Boss of the Gambino crime family, Paul Castellano.-Early years:...

. All of these men were Castellano loyalists. It is also important to note that Castellano had a hypocritical view on the drug business. He allowed men such as the Cherry Hill Gambinos (led by John Gambino
John Gambino
John Gambino , is an American mobster. He became a made member of the Gambino crime family in 1975 and a capodecina or captain, and head of the crime family's Sicilian faction, appointed by family boss John Gotti in 1986, according to Mafia turncoat Sammy Gravano.-Transatlantic Mafia clan:Together...

) to deal drugs as well as prolific mob killer Roy DeMeo
Roy DeMeo
Roy Albert DeMeo was a soldier in the Gambino crime family. He is infamous for heading the DeMeo crew, a gang suspected by the FBI of murdering at least 70 people between 1973 and 1983. The vast majority were disposed of so thoroughly that they were never found...

. He would take large tribute payments from these men, but would never openly discuss where the money actually came from. Also, much of the resentment that the Gambino soldiers and capos felt towards Castellano was due largely to his excessive greed. Typically, mob capos give ten percent of their earnings to the boss. However, Castellano began to demand fifteen percent or more in some cases all while distancing himself from his men on the streets.

Castellano ordered the murders of James "Jimmy the Clam" Eppolitto and his son, both being former crew members. The hits were carried out by trusted captain Anthony "Nino" Gaggi
Anthony Gaggi
Anthony "Antonino" "Nino" Frank Gaggi was a captain in the New York Gambino crime family who supervised the infamous DeMeo crew, headed by Roy DeMeo. It is estimated that the DeMeo crew murdered between 75 and 200 people....

 and Roy DeMeo
Roy DeMeo
Roy Albert DeMeo was a soldier in the Gambino crime family. He is infamous for heading the DeMeo crew, a gang suspected by the FBI of murdering at least 70 people between 1973 and 1983. The vast majority were disposed of so thoroughly that they were never found...

, an infamous assassin with a long list of murders. Yet, after DeMeo and Gaggi were indicted over a stolen car operation, Castellano ordered DeMeo's slaying as well, out of fear the ruthless killer might cooperate with the authorities. At this time many low-level foot soldiers requested their release from the Gambino family.

In March 1984, Castellano was indicted by Rudolph Giuliani, the chief federal prosecutor for Manhattan, on RICO
RICO
-Music:*Rico , a 2000 album by Matt Bianco*"Rico" , a 1998 song the Matthew Good Band from the album Underdogs*Rico International, a manufacturer of reeds, mouthpieces, and woodwind accessories...

 charges. Also indicted was Gambino captain Anthony "Nino" Gaggi
Anthony Gaggi
Anthony "Antonino" "Nino" Frank Gaggi was a captain in the New York Gambino crime family who supervised the infamous DeMeo crew, headed by Roy DeMeo. It is estimated that the DeMeo crew murdered between 75 and 200 people....

, and members of DeMeo's murderous crew. The indictment alleged that the crew committed 25 murders (which included 2 murdered witnesses). The indictment also included the murders of the Eppolittos. In early 1985, he was one of many Mafia bosses arrested on charges of racketeering, which was to result in the Mafia Commission Trial
Mafia Commission Trial
The Mafia Commission Trial was a criminal trial in New York City, USA. Using evidence obtained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, eleven organized crime figures, including the heads of New York's so-called "Five Families," were indicted by United States Attorney Rudolph Giuliani under the...

. Castellano was released on $3 million bail.

Paul Castellano didn't mind being tagged as a murderer. However, according to the book "Murder Machine" by Gene Mustain and Jerry Capeci, Castellano got offended when he thought that a police officer had implied that he was less than a gentleman. When Detective Kenneth McCabe placed him under arrest, he did not protest. But when McCabe mentioned to Castellano that his late cousin, Carlo Gambino had been a "real gentleman", Castellano looked hurt and then responded, "What? I'm not a gentleman?"
On December 2, 1985, Dellacroce died of lung cancer
Lung cancer
Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary...

. Castellano then made two major mistakes. First, he did not attend Dellacroce's funeral - which was viewed as highly disrespectful by the Dellacroce/Gotti loyalists. Second, Castellano then named his bodyguard, Tommy Bilotti, as the new underboss. Although Bilotti was a loyal mobster, he was also a brutish loanshark with little of the diplomatic skill required to hold such a high rank within the organization. The final nail in his coffin was put in place when he announced to the family that he was breaking up Gotti's crew and reassigning them.

Within two weeks of Dellacroce's death, on December 16, Castellano and Bilotti were shot to death outside Sparks Steak House
Sparks Steak House
The Sparks Steak House is a restaurant located at 210 East 46th Street between Second & Third Avenues in Midtown Manhattan.-History:The restaurant was founded by brothers Pat and Mike Cetta in 1966...

 in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 on the orders of John Gotti. They had been lured there supposedly to a meeting with Gotti in order to iron out their differences. The hit team included Vincent Artuso, Joseph Watts, Salvatore "Fat Sally" Scala
Salvatore Scala
Salvatore Scala, also known as "Fat Sal" and "Uncle Sal" was a New York mobster who became a caporegime in the Gambino crime family.Scala was born in Fort Lee, New Jersey, to first-generation immigrants from Scala, Italy...

, Edward Lino, and John Carneglia
John Carneglia
John 'Johnny Carnegs' Carneglia is a New York criminal with the Gambino crime family who was convicted of running a heroin distribution ring...

, with backup shooters positioned down the street including Dominick Pizzonia
Dominick Pizzonia
Dominick "Skinny Dom" Pizzonia is a New York mobster and captain with the Gambino crime family who was a hitman and loanshark.-Early life and rise:...

, Angelo Ruggiero
Angelo Ruggiero
Angelo Salvatore Ruggiero Sr. pronounced was a caporegime of the Gambino crime family and close friend of John Gotti.-Mob family roots:...

 and Anthony Rampino. Gotti and Gravano observed from a car across the street.

Legacy


Controversy dogged Castellano even in death, as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York refused to grant him a Mass of Christian Burial, citing the notorious circumstances surrounding both his life and death, leading many Italian-Americans, including New York State Governor Mario Cuomo
Mario Cuomo
Mario Matthew Cuomo served as the 52nd Governor of New York from 1983 to 1994, and is the father of Andrew Cuomo, the current governor of New York.-Early life:...

, to accuse the predominantly Irish-American archdiocesan hierarchy of applying a double standard, citing the case of Brian O'Regan. O'Regan, an allegedly corrupt New York City police officer fearing impending arrest, committed suicide in a Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

 motel room the same year as Castellano's death; O'Regan received a Mass of Christian Burial despite his suicide note's authenticity being established beyond doubt. Castellano was buried in the Moravian Cemetery, a non-sectarian cemetery located in the New Dorp section of Staten Island.

During his life, Castellano was able to set up his sons in successful businesses that made them legitimate multimillionaires; however, their companies benefitted from their father commanding a network of over 350 "made" members and hundreds of more associates. One such business, Scara-Mix concrete, based in Staten Island, dominates the borough's concrete pouring industry. In 2006, during the racketeering trial of Gotti's son John A. Gotti, former captain Michael DiLeonardo
Michael DiLeonardo
Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo is an Italian-American New York mobster who formerly belonged to the Gambino crime family and is now a government informant.-Background:...

 testified that he was the bagman for the family and collected thousands of dollars per year from the brothers Peter and Philip who operated Scara-Mix.

The elder Gotti succeeded Castellano as head of the Gambino family, which was confirmed by Sammy "The Bull" Gravano
Sammy Gravano
Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano is a former underboss of the Gambino crime family. He is known as the man who helped bring down John Gotti, the family's boss, by agreeing to become a Federal Bureau of Investigation informant and turn state's evidence.Originally a mobster for the Colombo crime...

, Gotti's underboss, when he entered into a plea bargain with the government in 1991. Gotti was later convicted of ordering Castellano's murder, along with many other crimes.

Popular culture


Castellano has been portrayed in several movies and lyrics, including:
  • by Chazz Palminteri
    Chazz Palminteri
    Calogero Lorenzo "Chazz" Palminteri is an American actor and writer, best known for his performances in The Usual Suspects, A Bronx Tale, and his Academy Award nominated role for Best Supporting Actor in Bullets Over Broadway....

     in Boss of Bosses
    Boss of Bosses
    Boss of Bosses is a 2001 made for TV movie about the life of former Gambino Family boss Paul Castellano. It stars Chazz Palminteri as Paul Castellano, Patricia Mauceri as his wife Nina, Mark Margolis as Joseph Armone, and Angela Alvarado as his mistress Gloria Olarte.This film focuses on Paul...

    , a 2001 film on the TNT network.
  • by Richard C. Sarafian
    Richard C. Sarafian
    Richard C. Sarafian is an Armenian-American TV and film director. Richard Sarafian has complied a versatile career that has spanned over five decades as a director, actor and writer. He is most popular for his film Vanishing Point . He is the father of: Richard Sarafian Jr., Tedi Sarafian, Damon B...

     in the 1996 HBO network original film Gotti, a story of the life of John Gotti
    John Gotti
    John Joseph Gotti, Jr was an American mobster who became the Boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City. Gotti grew up in poverty. He and his brothers turned to a life of crime at an early age...

    .
  • by Abe Vigoda
    Abe Vigoda
    Abe Vigoda is an American movie and television actor. Vigoda is well known for his portrayal of Sal Tessio in The Godfather, and for his portrayal of Detective Sgt. Phil Fish on the sitcom television series Barney Miller from 1975–1977 and on its spinoff show Fish that aired from February 1977 to...

     in the NBC
    NBC
    The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

     network TV movie Witness to the Mob
    Witness to the Mob
    Witness to the Mob is a made for TV film which premiered on May 10, 1998.-Plot:Film follows the rise of Sammy Gravano in ranks of NY Cosa Nostra, his turning to government witness in legal trials of John Gotti and his life in Witness protection program....

    .
  • by P.Diddy in the remix of Waka Flocka Flame
    Waka Flocka Flame
    Juaquin Malphurs , better known by his stage name Waka Flocka Flame, is an American rapper signed to 1017 Brick Squad and Warner Bros. He is a Southern hip hop artist best known for his singles "O Let's Do It", "Hard in da Paint" & "No Hands", along with his debut album, Flockaveli...

    's O Let's Do It
    O Let's Do It
    CD singleRemix single-Remixes:The official remix features Diddy, Rick Ross, & Gucci Mane. Another remix features Trae, Ludacris, Lil' Wayne, Rick Ross & Twista...

    .
  • by Lil Wayne
    Lil Wayne
    Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. , better known by his stage name Lil Wayne, is an American rapper. At the age of nine, Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label, and half of the duo, The B.G.'z, with B.G.. In 1997, Lil Wayne joined the group Hot Boys, which also included...

     on the song What's Wrong With Them ft. Nicki Minaj on his album, I Am Not A Human Being
    I Am Not a Human Being
    I Am Not a Human Being is the eighth studio album by American rapper Lil Wayne, released digitally on September 27, 2010. Its physical version was released on October 12, 2010. It was recorded in 2010 prior to Wayne's nine-month prison term for criminal possession of a weapon...

    .
  • by Rick Ross
    Rick Ross
    Rick, Ricky or Richard Ross may also refer to:* Rick Ross , American rapper* Richard J. Ross, a Massachusetts State Senator* Richard Ross , an American photographer...

     in his street single "Mafia Music 2"
  • again by Chazz Palminteri
    Chazz Palminteri
    Calogero Lorenzo "Chazz" Palminteri is an American actor and writer, best known for his performances in The Usual Suspects, A Bronx Tale, and his Academy Award nominated role for Best Supporting Actor in Bullets Over Broadway....

     in the upcoming John Gotti
    John Gotti
    John Joseph Gotti, Jr was an American mobster who became the Boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City. Gotti grew up in poverty. He and his brothers turned to a life of crime at an early age...

     biopic Gotti: In The Shadow Of My Father.

Further reading

  • O'Brien, Joseph F. and Kurins, Andris. Boss of Bosses: The Fall of the Godfather: The FBI and Paul Castellano. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.ISBN 0-671-71541-0

External links