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Frank Costello
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Outlaw
    (January 26, 1891-February 18, 1973)
    Born in Lauropoli, Italy
    Birth name was Francesco Castiglia
    Head of the Luciano/Genovese crime family in New York (1937-57)
    Known as 'the Prime Minister of the Underworld'
    He joined a street gang in his teens.
    He bribed his way out of being drafted during World War I.
    He served ten months for carrying a concealed weapon (1918).
    He ran Lucky Luciano's gambling operations.
    When he testified before the Kefauver Committee investigating organized crime, the TV cameras only showed his hands, not his face (1951).
    He spent 18 months in jail on contempt charges after the hearings.
    He was convicted of income tax evasion and spent 11 months in jail (1954).
    He claimed that after his weapons bust, he never again carried a gun.
    He refused to traffic in narcotics.
    He survived an attempted hit by Vincent 'The Chin' Gigante, coming away with only a scalp wound (May 2, 1957).
    Marlon Brando studied tapes of his Kefauver Committee testimony while preparing for the part of Don Vito Corleone in 'The Godfather.'
    In a tribute of sorts to his power and influence, Carmine Galante announced his return to power in the New York mob by bombing Costello's burial site, blasting the doors off his mausoleum (1974).

Credit: C. Fishel


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