Vito Genovese, or Don Vito, was a Mafia boss born on November 27, 1897. Although Vito was born in Italy, he soon came to New York City and worked with the local gangs. He and his friend Lucky Luciano killed Giuseppe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano and took over the gang.
Vito left for Italy to avoid a murder charge, but came back after WWII after being recognized and extradited to the United States. However, the key witness died shortly after, and he was acquitted.
Instead of returning to the small-time gangs that he had been involved in, he used his connections within the Sicilian Mafia to make his way through New York’s, becoming the man who would be known as the “Boss of All Bosses.”
Vito was arrested just before 1960 and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for drug charges. However, he continued to work as the Mafioso he was, running the Mafia’s organization even from a prison cell. He eventually died in prison on February 14, 1969 of a heart attack.
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