Dec. 1, 1899, to July 13, 1967.
Tommy Luchese, Tommy Luckese, "Three-Finger Brown"
Lucchese served under crime boss Tommy Gagliano until Gagliano's death in 1953. At that time, Lucchese graduated to boss of the crime family that bears his name.
Born Dec. 1, 1899, in Palermo, Sicily, Lucchese settled in the Italian Harlem section of New York after his arrival in the U.S. He appears to have moved up through the ranks of the 107th Street Mob (the same one that had been created by the Morello brothers and Ciro Terranova).
He reportedly earned the "Three-Finger" portion of his nickname after losing his right index finger in an industrial accident in 1919. The "Brown" portion was added because a well known pitcher at the time was known as "Three-Finger Brown."
Lucchese became affiliated with the Tom Reina crime family in the Bronx. When Reina was eliminated and replaced at the start of the Castellammarese War by "Joe the Boss" Masseria, Lucchese and Gagliano defected to the Castellammarese side led by Salvatore Maranzano.
Among the smarter and more influential bosses of the late 50s and early 60s, Lucchese was able to build a rackets empire though his family was far smaller than the powerful Genovese and Gambino organizations.
Lucchese became seriously ill in 1965 and required extended hospitalization. His lucrative rackets were carved up by other bosses in 1966, while he was still in the hospital.
Lucchese died in 1967 of natural causes and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Brooklyn. Authorities believe he was succeeded as boss by Antonio "Tony Ducks" Corallo, but there might have been a short-term interim boss in between.
© 2007 T.Hunt
The American "Mafia"