Joseph Bonanno

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Giuseppe “Joseph Charles” Bonanno, Sr. (January 18, 1905 – May 11, 2002) was a Sicilian-born American mafioso who became the boss of the Bonanno crime family. He was nicknamed "Joe Bananas," a name he despised because it implied he was crazy.[citation needed]


The Castellammarese War

Almost from the beginning, Bonanno was recognized by his accomplices in Brooklyn as a man with superior organizational skills and quick instincts. He also became known to the leader of Mafia activities in New York: Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria. Masseria became increasingly suspicious of the growing number of Castellammarese in Brooklyn. He sensed they were gradually dissociating themselves from his overall leadership. The Castellammarese faction of the Mafia, headquartered in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was led by Salvatore Maranzano. He had been sent over by Don Vito Cascio Ferro, the Sicilian mafia leader.[citation needed]

In 1927 violence broke out between the two rival factions that shortly developed into all-out war. This war between Masseria and Maranzano became known as the Castellammarese War. It continued for more than four years. By 1930, Maranzano’s chief aides were Bonanno (as chief of staff),[3] Joe Profaci was neutral in the Castellammarese War, Tommy Lucchese and Joseph Magliocco. Tommy Gagliano ran another gang that supported Maranzano. The Buffalo, New York mob boss Stefano Magaddino, another Castellammarese, also supported Maranzano. Magaddino's son was Peter Magaddino, a boyhood friend of Bonanno from his student days in Palermo. Masseria had Lucky Luciano, Vito Genovese, Joe Adonis, Carlo Gambino, Albert Anastasia and Frank Costello on his side.

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